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Ullfe S. 1. ItU ffitbrarg 

Nortli Olaraltna g>tatp 

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A 3 


.BOUT the year 1770, a few gentlemen 
formed themselves into a society at York, for 
the purpose of giving encouragement to the 
Agriculture of their respective neighbour- 
hoods; and in order to confer stability and re- 
putation upon their undertak ing, they took upon 
themselves the title of the York Agricul- 
ture Society, with a President, two Vice- 
Presidents, a Treasurer, and Secretary. Con- 
vinced that respectability was unattainable 
without responsibility, the Society agreed to 
affix their respective signatures to all the pa- 
pers read at their Board, and they also agreed 
that such papers as were thought to pofsefs 
distinguished merit, should be published in a 
work bearing the title of GEORGICAL 
ESSAYS. In about twelve months from the 
commencement of the Institution, the first 



volume made its appearance, and under the 
most favourable circumstances, the Society 
were induced to promise a continuation of the 
work; but in consequence of the death of 
: many of the most active members, the publi- 
cation was discontinued, so that only one vo- 
lume exists to record the industry and attention 
df the York Agriculture Society. The Society 
is now IK) more, its difsolution having taken 
place about eighteen years ago. Having had 
a principal share in the publication of the 
Georgical Essays, I feel myself called 
upon not to suffer them to pafs into oblivion ; 
and i the more willingly engage in the under- 
taking, as I mean to make it the basis of a 
more extensive publication. It is my inten- 
tion to draw into one focus, all that is widely 
diffused through numberlefs volumes of Agri- 
cultural information; and in so doing, I ex- 
pect to be able to exhibit to the favourers of 
Agriculture, a tield well cultivated — and free 
from all unsightly and noxious weeds. In this 
proposed collection there will be some papers 
that have never appeared in public; -but by 


far the greatest number have been published 
in different periodical works. The distin- 
guished authors of these papers will, I flatter 
myself, approve of my taking this method of 
rendering their public-spirited exertions more 
generally known j for it cannot be expected 
that a number of high-priced books, all of 
them containing some papers of useful in- 
formation, can be the object of general pur- 


YORK:, MAY\, 1802. 



The Rife and Progrefs of Agriculture. 


.GRICULTURE is the oldest, as well as 
the most useful, of the arts. In the sacred 
writings we are told that Cain applied him- 
self to husbandry, while Abel followed the 
peaceable life of a shepherd. The Patriarchs 
and their descendents spent their days in feed- 
ing of flocks and tilling the ground: but in 
those early ages the art was as simple as the 
manners of the people. They lived a wan- 
dering sort of life. Every new situation af- 
forded them present support for their l^ocks; 
and whenever they met with a fruitful piece 
of ground, they usually rested upon it, and 
sowed their corn, which having reaped, they 
moved forward in quest of another habitation. 
This was the ftate of Agriculture, when men 
had no other laws but those of God and 


Among the Egyptians, a civilized nation, 
husbandry was regularly attended to 3 and it is 
extremely probable that the children of Israel, 
before they left that country, had made them- 
selves, in some degree, acquainted with the 
manner of raising corn, and afterwards pre- 
serving it. As soon as their descendents had 
obtained the full and quiet pofsefsion of the 
promised land, they proceeded upon the plan 
of the old inhabitants, and became husband- 
men. Every man's pofsefsion having been 

allotted to him. Agriculture seems to have 
flourished amongst them, otherwise the land of 
Judea could not pofsibly have maintained the 
number of inhabitants that are recorded. 

If we may credit the report of travellers, 
the land of Canaan is at present a barren and 
uncultivated country. The figurative expres- 
sion of a land flov^^ing with 772/7/t. and honey, 
fprung from the industry of the inhabitants co- 
operating with the natural fertility of the soil. 
It was in vain for the husbandman to expect 
a spontaneous growth of corn in the best of 

The Land of Promise was pofsefsed by a 
number of different nations. Among these 


the Phoenicians, or Philistines as they are 
called, were the richest and most industrious. 
They occupied a well-cultivated country bor- 
dering upon the sea. By means of their skill 
in navigation, they exchanged the superfluous 
product of their lands with the neighbouring 
nations. Their extensive commerce is suf- 
ficiently known. Being at last driven from 
their native country, they directed their course 
to the Mediterranean islands, and carried with 
them the art of husbandry. 

In consequence of this migration. Agricul- 
ture became more diffused, and spread its in- 
fluence over the neighbouring nations. 

History informs us that the Greeks were 
once a most barbarous people, Pelasgus re- 
ceived divine honours for teaching: them the 
use of acorns for food. A small colony from 
Egypt, or Phoenicia, instructed them in the 
manner of growing corn. The Athenians 
were the first that received the inestimable 
blefsing. Humanity succeeded; and from 
that source the fine arts derived their orisrin. 

The Romans had a laudable pride in being 
thought husbandmen. As early as the reign 


of Numa, public encouragement was given to 
Agriculture. Succeeding ages continued sen- 
fible of its utility. Sound policy informed 
them, that an extensive territory and a number 
of inhabitants did not always constitute a great 
and powerful people. They knew that the 
lands must be cultivated, and the inhabitants 
must be industrious, before that desirable event 
could be accomplished. When the Romans 
made the mostillustrious appearance,husbandry 
was in the highest estimation among them. 
*' In those happy days," says Pliny, " the 
" Earth, pleased at seeing herself cultivated by 
" victorious hands, seemed to make stronger 
" efforts, and to produce her fruits in greater 
" abundance." — But when destructive luxury 
was introduced, then husbandry declined, and 
with it fell all the Roman virtue. 

The ancient writers give us excellent com- 
ments upon the husbandry of their times. He- 
siod wrote very early upon Agriculture. Mago, 
the Carthagenian general, composed twenty- 
eight books upon the same subject, which 
were translated by order of the Roman Senate. 
Upon these models ^^^irgil formed his elegant 
precepts of husbandry. Cato, the Censor, 
wrote a volume upon Agriculture. Columella 


has left us twelve books upon rural matters. 
Varro's treatise will ever be esteemed. — 
Many other Greek and Latin authors might 
be produced; but these will be sufficient to 
show, that Agriculture has ever been attended 
to by the wise Philosopher and the good 

The celebrated Sully calls Agriculture one 
of the breasts from which the state must draw 
its nourishment That great man could not 
pofsibly have given us a more happy simile. 
Instructing by precepts, and stimulating by 
rewards, he prevailed upon his countrymen to 
cultivate the art; but their industry was of 
short duration. The public troubles soon put 
an end to Arts, Agriculture, and Commerce. 
Colbert entertained a different notion of po- 
licy. Esteeming Manufactures and Com- 
merce as the sinews of the state, he gave all 
pofsible encouragement to the Artizan and the 
Merchant, — but forgot that the Manufac- 
turer must eat his bread at a moderate price. 
The Farmer being discouraged, the necefsaries 
of life became dear; the public granaries 
w-ere ill stored; — manufactures languished; — 
commerce dropped; — a numerous army soon 
consumed the scanty harvest; — and, in a short 


time, Industry fell a sacrifice to the ill-judged 
policy of the Minister. 

From that period to the present, the French 
nation have constantly been availing them- 
selves of their mistake. Under the genial 
influence of the king. Societies are erected in 
every Province. Men of the first distinction 
do not disdain the cultivation of their own 
lands. M. de Chateauvieux and Duhamel 
are the greatest ornaments of their country. 
Let us imitate the virtues of that fashionable 
nation J and as we have often vanquished them 
in the field of battle, let us put our hands 
to the plough, and overcome them in the 
field of industry. Such pursuits have graced 
the public life of ancient heroes. May they 
be recorded in the Annals of a British 



On the NouriJIiment of Vegetables. 

JL HE art of Hufbandry boafts an origin 
coeval with the human race. Its age, how- 
ever, feems to have contributed but little to- 
wards its advancement, being at prefent ex- 
tended but a few degrees beyond its primitive 

Until the Philofopher condefcends to direft 
the plough, Hufbandry muft remain in a torpid 
flate. It is the peculiar happinefs of this age, 
'that men of a liberal education beofin to culti- 
vate this art with attention. AVe cannot fay 
too much in praife of the refpeftive focieties 
lately eltablifhed in this ifland, and in France, 
for the improvement of Agriculture. They 
have raifed a noble fpirit of emulation among 
our country gentlemen and fenfible farmers. 
Each feems envious of contributing fomethina: 
towards the general flock of knowledge. — 
Such a pleafmg intcrcourfc cannot fail of 
fpreading the improvements in Agriculture 
over the moft diilant parts of this ifland. 

Volume I. 13 

blorth Carolina State College 


I take upon me to fay, that, to be a good 
hufbandman, it is neceffar)' to be a good che- 
mift. Chemiftry will teach him the bell way 
to prepare nourifliment for his refpe6live 
crops, and, in the moll: wonderful manner, 
will expofe the hidden things of nature to his 
view. The principles of Agriculture depend 
greatly upon chemiftry: and witliout princi- 
ples, what is artj and what is fcience ? 

It is alfo neceflary for the hufbandman to 
l>e a good mechanic, in order to be a judge of 
the inftruments employed in dividing and 
loofening the foil; an operation of the greateft 
ufe to the farmer. 

The ingenious Dr. Home has opened to 
our view a noble field for improvement. His 
reafoning is juft and conclufive; but it were 
to be wiilied that his experiments had been 
conduced upon a larger fcale. However, 
contra£ied as they are, they will be found of" 
great u(e to whoever intends to purfue ihc 
ftudy of Agriculture upon rational princi- 

As I intend the nourilhment of plants to be 
the fubje£t of this Eflay, it will be proper t# 


obferve, that I have been dire£ted in my re- 
fearches by a ftri6t attention to the analogy 
that fubfills between animals and vegetables. 
We know that neither of them can fubfift 
long without air and nourifhment. Direfted 
by inftinct, the animal feeks its own proper 
food ; but the vegetable, not being poflfelTed 
of the power of motion, muft be fatisfied with 
the nourifhment that we give it. 

To direct this upon rational principles, is 
the bufmefs of the philofopher. The pra6tical 
farmer will fuffer himfelf to be inflrufted, as 
foon as he perceives the praftice correfpond. 
with the theory laid down to him. Let us 
expe6l no more from him. Men of a limited 
education commit great errors when they at- 
tempt to reafon upon fcience. In hu{bandr)% 
effe^s are conftantly applied to improper 
caufes. Hence proceed the errors of our 
common farmers. To overcome thefe is the 
peculiar province of the Philofopher; who, 
in his turn, muft fupport his reafoning by 
facls and experiments. 

1 lay it down as a fundamental maxim, that 
all plants receive their principal nourifhment 
from oily and mucilaginous particles incorpo- 



rated witli water, by means of an alkaline fait 
or abforbent earth . Till oil is made mifcible, it 
is unable to enter the radical vcfsels of vege- 
tables; and, on that account. Providence has 
bountifully supplied all natural soils with 
chalky or other absorbent particles. I say 
natural soils, for those which have been as- 
sisted by art are full of materials for that 
purpose; such as lime, marl, soap-ashes, and 
the volatile alkaline salt of putrid dung- 

It may be asked, whence do natural soils 
receive their oily particles? I answer, the air 
supplies them. During the summer months, 
the atmosphere is full of putrid exhalations 
arising from the steam of dunghills, the per- 
spiration of animals and smoak. Every 
shower brings dov.-n these putrescent particles 
for the nourishment of plants. Of these, 
some fall into the sea, where they probably 
serve for the nourishment of fuci, and other 
submarine plants. They are, however, but 
seemingly lost, as the fish taken from the sea, 
and the weeds thrown upon the beach, re- 
store them again under a different form. 
Thus Providence, with the most consummate 
wisdom, keeps up the necefsary rotation of 


things, difsolution and combination follow- 
in ir each other in endlefs succefsion. 

AVhen the putrescent particles that arc sus- 
pended in the atmosphere, happen to fall upon 
a very sandy soil, the solar heat exhales the 
most of them. Hence an additional reason 
for covering our light soils with herbage 
during the summer months. 

On the contrary, when these particles fall 
upon stiff land, or such as have been marled 
or limed, an intimate union is produced, too 
strong for the solar heat to exhale. 

It is observed, that lime mechanically binds 
a hot sandy soil. We now see that it also fer- 
tilizes it; but the farmer must not presume 
too much upon that quality. 

The ingenious Mr. Tull, and others, con- 
tend that earth is the food of plants. If so, 
all soils equally tilled would prove equally 
prolific. The increased fertility of a well- 
pulverised soil, induced him to imagine that 
the plough could so minutely divide the par- 
ticles of earth, as to fit them for entering into 
the roots of plants. 

B 3 


An open soil, if not too light In its own 
nature, will always produce plentiful crops. 
It readily receives the air, rains, and dews 
into its bosom, and at the same time gives 
the roots of plants a free pafsage in quest of 
food. This is the true reason why land well 
tilled is so remarkably fruitful. 

Water is thought, by some, to be the food 
of vegetables, when in reality it is only the 
vehicle of nourishment. — A\^ater is an hetero- 
geneous fluid, and is no where to be found 
pure. It always contains a solution of -ani- 
mal or vegetable substances. These consti-^ 
tute the nourishment of plants, and the ele- 
ment in which they are minutely suspended, 
acts only as a vehicle, in guiding them through 
the fine vefsels of the vegetable body. 

The hyacinth, and other bulbous roots, are 
known to perfect their flowers in pure water. 
Hence superficial observers have drawn an 
argument in favour of water being the food 
of vegetables. But the truth is, the roots, 
stem, and flowers of such plant? are nourished 
by the mucilaginousjuicesof the bulb, diluted 
by the surrounding water. This mucilage is 
just sufficient to perfect the flower — and nq 


more. Such a bulb neither forms seeds, nor 
sends forth off-sets. At the end of the sea- 
son, it appears weak, shrivelled, and exhaust- 
ed, and is rendered unfit to produce flowers 
the succeeding year. A root of the same 
kind, that has been fed by the oily and muci- 
Jaginous juices of the earth, efsentially differs 
in every particular. It has a plump appear- 
ance, is full of mucilage— with ofl-sets upon 
its sides. 

All rich soils, in a state of nature, are 
thought to contain oil and mucilage j and in 
those lands which have been under the plough 
for some years, they are found in proportion to 
the quantity of putrid dung that has been 
Jaid upon them, making an allowance for the 
crops they have sustained. 

To set this matter in a clearer light, let us 
attend to the effects of manures of an oily na- 
ture, and we shall soon be satisfied that oil^ 
however modified and distinguished, is one 
of the chief things concerned in vegetation. 

Rape-dust, when laid upon land, is a speedy 
and certain manure, though an expensive one, 
and will generally answer best on a limestone 
land, or where the soil has been moderately 
limed. -^ '^' 


This species of manure is much esteemed 
by the farmer. It contains the food of 
plants ready prepared; but as it is not capable 
of loosening the soil by any fermetation, the 
lands upon which it is laid ought to be in ex- 
cellent tilth. At present, that useful article 
of husbandry is much diminished in goodnefs, 
owing to the improved methods of extracting 
the oil from the rape. Heat and prefsure are 
employed in a double degree, and every other 
method is used to the prejudice of the farmer. 
Some persons, however, are of opinion, that the 
severe extraction of the oil does not materially 
injure the rape-dust. 

Farmers that live in the neighbourhood of 
large towns use abundance of soot It is an 
oily manure, but different from the former, 
containing alkaline salt in its own nature, 
calculated as well for opening the soil, as 
for rendering the oily parts miscible with 

It is observed that the dung of pigeons is a 
rich and hasty manure. These animals feed 
chiefly upon grains and oily seeds; it must 
therefore be expected that their dung should 
contain a large proportion of oil. 



The dung of stable-kept horScs is also a 
strong manure, and should not be used until 
it has undergone the putrid fervient, in order 
to mix ahd afsimilate its oily, watry, and sa- 
line parts. Beans, oats, ahd hay, contain 
much oil. Tlie dung of horses, that are 
kept upon green herbage, is of a weaker 
kind, containing much Icfs oil. Svvine's dung 
is of a saponaceous and oily nature, and per- 
haps is the richest of the animal manures. 
When made into a compost and applied with 
judgment, it is excellent both for arable and 
grafs lands. The dung of stall-fed oxen, espe- 
cially if oil-cake make part of their food, is of 
a rich quality, and greatly preferable to that 
of cows and oxen supported by grafs only. 
A farmer, when he purchases dung, should 
attend to all the circumstances under which 
it is produced. One load of dung from a 
hunting stable, where much corn is used, is 
worth two loads produced by hay and green 

The dung of ruminant animals, as cows 
and sheep, is preferable to that of horses at 
grafs, owing to the quantity of animal juices 
mixed with their food in chewing. And 
here I beg leave to remark in general, that 


the fatter the animal, Cccteris paribus, the 
richer the dung. 

Human ordure is full of oil and a volatile 
alkaline salt. By itself, it is too strong a ma- 
nure for any land ; it should therefore be 
made into a compost before it is used. The 
dung of carnivorous animals is plentifully 
stored with oil. Animals that feed upon 
seeds and grains come next, and after them 
follow those which subsist upon grafs only. 

To suit these different manures to their 
proper soils, requires the greatest judgment 
of the farmer; as what may be proper for one 
soil, may be highly detrimental to another. 

In order to strengthen my argument in fa- 
vour of oil (phlogiston) being the principal 
food of plants, I must beg leave to observe, 
that all vegetables, whose seeds are of an 
oily nature, are found to be remarkable im- 
poverishers of the soil, as hemp, rape, and 
flax ; for which reason, the best manures for 
lands worn out by these crops, are such as 
have a good deal of oil in their composition; 
but then they must be laid on with Jime, 
chalk, marl, or soap ashes, so as to render the 
oily particles miscible with water. 


The Book of Nature may be displayed, to 
show that oily p-articles constitute the nou- 
rishment of plants in their enibr)'o state ; and, 
by a fair inference, we may suppose that 
something of the same nature is continued to 
them as they advance in growth. The oily 
seeds, as rape, hemp, line, and turnip, con- 
sist of two lobes, which, when spread upon 
the surface, form the seminal leaves. In them 
the whole oil of the seed is contained. The 
moisture of the atmosphere penetrates the 
cuticle of the leaves, and, mixing with the 
oil, constitutes an emulsion for the nourish- 
ment of the plant. The sweetnefs of this 
balmy fluid invites the fly, against which no 
sufficient remedy has, as yet, been discovered. 
The oleaginous liquor being consumed, the 
seminal leaves decay, having performed the 
office of a mother to her tender infant. To 
persons unacquainted with the analogy be- 
tween plants and animals, this reflection will 
appear strange. Nothing, hov/evcr, is more 

Most of the leguminous and farinaceous 
plants keep their placenta, or seminal leaves, 
within the earth ; in which situation tliey suj>- 
ply the tender germ with oily nutriment, until 


its roots are grown sufficiently strong to pene- 
trate the soil. The curious reader will lind 
this subject treated of at large in the third 

It is usual to talk of the salts of the earth , 
but chemistry has not been able to discover 
any salts in land which has not been manured; 
though it is said that oil may be readily ob- 
tained from every soil, the very sandy ones 

Mai*], though a rich manure, has no salts. 
It is thought, by some, to contain a small 
portion of oleaginous matter, and an absorbent 
earth, of a nature similar to limestone, with 
a large quantity of clay intermixed. 

Lime, mixed with clay, comes nearest to 
the nature of marl of any factitious body that 
we know of, and may be used as such, where 
it can be had without much expense. By in- 
creasing the quantity of clay, it will make an 
excellent compost for a light sandy soil -, but 
to make the ground fertile, woollen rags, 
rotten dung, currier's shavings, or any oily 
manure, should be incorporated with it some 
time before it is laid on. 


It is the opinion of some, that lime en- 
riches the land it is laid upon, by means of 
supplying a salt fit for the nourishment of 
plants; but by all the experiments that have 
been made upon lime, it is found to contain 
no kind of salt. Its operation, therefore, 
should be considered in a different light. By 
the fermentation that it induces, the earth 
opened and divided, and, by its absorbent 
and alkaline qualit}^ it unites the oily and 
watery parts of the soil. It also seems to 
have the property of collecting the acid of 
the air, forming vi^ith it a combination of 
great use in vegetation. 

From viewing lime in this light, it is 
probable that it tends to rob the soil of its 
oily particles, and in time will render it bar- 
ren, unlefs we take care to support it with 
rotten dung, or other manures of an oily 

As light sandy soils contain but a small 
portion of oleaginous particles, we should be 
extremely cautious not to overdo them with 
lime, unlefs we can at the same time afsist 
them liberally with rotten dung, shavings of 
leather, woollen rags, shavings of horn, and 


otber manures of an animal kind. Its great 
excellence, however, upon a sandy soil, is by 
mechanically binding the loose particles, and 
thereby preventing the liquid parts of the 
manure from escaping out of the reach of the 
radical fibres of the plants. 

Upon clay the effect of lime is different ; 
for by means of the gentle fermentation that 
it produces, the unsubdued soil is opened 
and divided; the manures laid on readily 
come into contact with every part of it j and 
the fibres of the plants have full liberty to 
spread themselves. 

It is generally said that lime answers better 
upon sand than clay. Tliis observation will 
imdoubtedly hold good as long as the farmer 
continues to lime his clay lands in a scanty 
manner. Let him treble the quantity, and 
he will then be convinced that lime is better 
for clay than sand. It may be justly answer- 
ed, that the profits will not admit of the ex- 
pense. I agree. But then it must be under- 
stood that it is the application, and not the 
nature of the lime, that should be called in 
question. Clay, well limed, will fall in water, 
and ferment with acids. Its very nature is 


Under such agreeable circumstances, the 
air, rains, and dews are freely admitted, and 
the soil is enabled to retain the nourishment 
that each of them brings. In consequence of 
a fermentation raised in the soil, the fixed air 
is set at liberty, and in that state of activity it 
becomes an useful instrument in dividing the 
tenaceous clay. Hovv^ever, let the farmer, 
who uses much lime for his clay lands, be in- 
structed to manure them well, otherwise the 
soil will bake and become too hard to permit 
the roots of the plants to spread themselves 
in search of food. 

It is the nature of lime to attract oils and 
difsolve vegetable bodies. Upon these prin- 
ciples we may account for the wonderful ef- 
fects of lime in the improvement of black 
moor-land. Moor-earth consists of difsolved, 
and half-difsolved, vegetable substances. It 
is full of oil. — Lime difsolves the one, and as- 
similates the other. 

Such lands, not originally worth sixpence 
per acre, may. be made, by paring, burning, 
and liming, to produce plentiful crops of tur- 
nips, which may be followed with oats, bar- 
ley, or grafs seeds, according to the inclina- 


tion of the owner. These observations, 

however, are rather foreign to the argument 
of the present efsay, to which I shall now 

To the universal principle, oil, (phlogiston) 
we must add another of great efficacy, though 
very little understood 3 I mean the nitrous 
acid of the air. 

That the air does contain the rudiments of 
nitre, is demonstrable from the manner of 
making salt-petre in the different parts of the 
world. The air contains no such salt as per- 
fect nitre; it is a factitious salt, and is made 
by the nitrous acid falling upon a proper ma- 
trix. The makers of nitre form that matrix 
of the rubbish of old houses, fat earth, and 
any fixed alkaline salt. The universal acid, 
"as it is called, is attracted by these materials, 
and forms true nitre, which is rendered pure 
by means of crystalization, and in that form it 
is brought to us. In very hot countries, the 
natural earth forms a matrix for nitre, which 
makes the operation very short. 

It is observed that nitre is most plentifully 
formed in winter, when the wind is northerly: 


lience we may understand the true reason 
why land is fertilized by being laid up in 
high ridges during the winter months. The 
good effects of that operation are wholly attri- 
buted to the mechanical action of the frost 
upon the ground. Light soils as well as the 
tough ones, may be exposed in high ridges, 
but with some limitation-, in order to imitate 
the mud walls in Germany, which are found, 
by experience, to collect considerable quanti- 
ties of nitre during the winter. 

After saying so much in praise of nitre, it 
will be expected that I should produce some 
proofs of its efficacy, when used as a manure. 
I must confefs that experiments do not give 
us any such proofs. Perhaps too large a quan- 
tity has been used ; or rather, it could not be 
restored to the earth with its particles so mi- 
nutely divided, as when it remained united 
with the soil, by means of the chemistry of 
nature. I shall therefore consider this nitrous 
acid, or as some call it, the acidum vagiim, in 
the light of a vivifying principle, with whose 
operation we are not yet fully acquainted. 

I have already observed, that there subsists 
a strong analogy between plants and. animals. 
Volume I. C . 


Oil and water seem to make up the nourish- 
ment of both. Earth enters very little into 
the composition of either. It is observed, 
that animals take in a great many earthy par- 
ticles at the mouth, but they are soon dis- 
charged by urine and stool. Vegetables take 
in the smallest portion imaginable of earth ; 
and the reason is, they have no way to dis- 
charge it. 

It is highly probable, that the radical fibres 
of plants take up their nourishment from the 
earth, in the same manner that the lacteal 
vefsels absorb the nutriment from the in- 
tesines; and as the oily and watery parts of our 
food are perfectly united into a milky liquor, 
by means of the spittle, pancreatic juice, and 
bile, before they enter the lacteals, we have 
all the reason imaginable to keep up the ana- 
logy, and suppose that the oleaginous and 
watery parts of the soil are also incorporated, 
previous to their being taken up by the ab- 
sorbent vefsels of the plant. 

To form a perfect judgment of this, we 
must reflect that every soil, in a state of nature, 
has in itself a quantity of absorbent earth, suf- 
ficient to incorporate its inherent oil and water j 
but when we load it with fat manures, it be- 
comes efsentially necefsary to bestow upon it. 


at the same time, something to afsimilate the 
parts. Lime, soap-ashes, kelp, marl, and all 
the alkaline substances, perform that office. 

In order to render this operation visible to 
the senses: — Difsolve one drachm of Rufsia 
potash in two ounces of water; then add two 
spoonfuls of oil. Shake the mixture, and it 
will instantly become an uniform mafs of a 
whitish colour, adapted, as I conceive, to all 
the purposes of vegetation. 

This easy and familiar experiment is a just 
representation of what happens after the ope- 
ration of Burn-baking, and consequently may 
be considered as a confirmation of the hypothe- 
sis advanced. Let us attend to the procefs. 

The sward being reduced to ashes, a fixed 
alkaline salt is produced. The moisture of 
the atmosphere soon reduces that salt into a 
fluid state, which, mixing with the soil, brings 
about an union of the oily and watery parts, in 
the manner demonstrated by the experiment. 

When the under stratum sonsists of a rich 
vegetable mould, the effects of Burn-baking 
will be lasting. But when the soil happens to 
be thin and poor, the first crop frequently suf- 
fers before it arrives at maturity. 



The farmer, therefore, who is at the expense 
of paring and burning a thin soil, should be- 
stow upon it a portion of rotten dung, or 
shambles manure, before the ashes are spread, 
in order to supply the deficiency of oily par- 
ticles; and he should be ver)' careful not to 
keep this kind of land too long under the 

In consequence of this prudent manage- 
ment, the crop will be supported during its 
growth, and the land will be preserved in 
health a^id vigour. 

Tor such weak lands, it is highly probable 
that the oil-compost described in the next 
efsay, will be found the cheapest and most 
effectual manure. 

Hitherto I have considered plants as nou- 
rished by their roots. I shall now take a 
view of them as nourished by their leaves. 
An attention to this part of the vegetable 
system is efsentially nccefsary to the rational 

Vegetables that have a succulent leaf, such 
as vetches, pease, beans, and buck-wheat, 
draw a great part of their nourishment from 
the air, and on that account impoverish the 


soil lefs than wheat, oats, barley, or rye, the 
leaves of which are of a firmer texture. 

In this manner the vegetable creation 
renders the air pure by afsimilating to it- 
self those putrescent particles, which, if not 
removed, would render the atmosphere unfit 
for animal respiration. Some modern philo- 
sophers have attempted to destroy this opi- 
nion, but they must bring stronger proofs than 
those they have produced, before they can ex- 
pect to tear from the human breast an idea 
so full of harmony. 

Rape and hemp are oil-bearing plants, and, 
consequently, impoverishers of the soils but 
the former lefs so than the latter, owing to 
the greater succulency of its leaf. 

The leaves of all kinds of grain are succu- 
lent for a time; during which period the 
plants take little from the earth; but as soon 
as the ear begins to be formed, they lose 
their softncfs, and diminish in their attractive 

The radical fibres are then more vigorously 
employed in extracting the oily particles of 
the earth, for the nouiishment ot the seed. 
Such, I apprehend, is the course ot nature. 




0)1 a rich and cheap Compojl^ Kc, 

In the last efsay I endeavoured to show that 
oil, made miscible with water, constitutes 
the chief nourishment of vegetables. A 
greater number of proofs might have been 
produed in support of that doctrine j but I 
flatter myself that those already advanced will 
be thought sufficient. 

Having reason to believe that my theory 
was founded upon facts and experiments, I 
was desirous of converting it to public utility. 
And as I apprehended that a compost might 
be discovered, upon the principles advanced, 
which would come cheap to the farmer, and 
be of easy carriage, I diligently employed 
myself in prosecuting the inquiry. 

In the course of investigation I took care 
to reason upon proper data; carefully avoid- 
ing every degree of partiality to my system. — 
In philosophy nothing is so delusive as pre- 
judice, S 


After making various trials, I at last disco- 
vered what I so ardently sought after; but as 
I have not the vanity to think my experiments 
sufficiently conclusive, I embrace this oppor- 
tunity to request the afsistance of the practi- 
cal farmer, in order that the merits of the in- 
vention may be fully determined. 

Should my theory concerning the food of 
plants be found erroneous, the compost, 
of course, will be disregarded. But, on the 
contrary, should it be agreed to, that oil, under 
certain modifications, made miscible with 
water, constitutes the chief nourishment of 
vegetables, then the invention will probably 
become a subject for future experiment. 

Though theory may direct our inquiries, 
yet experience must at last determine our 
opinions, for which reason I propose to en- 
large my experiments; and as I have no other 
view but the investigation of truth, I shall lay 
them faithfully before the public, whether 
they prove succefsful or not. 

We know that a number of experiments, 
made by different persons, and in different 
places, are efsentially necefsary towards estab- 



lishing the truth of any received opinion in Agri- 
culture. How much more necefsary is it to re- 
quest the afsistance of the practical farmer, in 
determining the merits of a new invention ? 
for such I esteem the compost I here com- 

Virgil, indeed, has recommended the lees 
of oil as a manure, and the ingenious Dr. 
Home has mentioned olive oil; but neither 
of them reflected upon the absolute necefsity 
of rendering the oil miscible with water, by 
means of an alkaline salt. 

I judge it unnecefsary to repeat what I 
have already advanced upon the food of plants. 
I shall therefore refer the reader to the £ t 
Efsay, as it contains the greatest part of trie 
reasoning upon which the following compost 
is founded. 

To make Oil-Cmnposi. 

I s. d 
Take North- American pot-ash 12 lb. 4 

Break the salt into small pieces, and 
put it into a convenient vefsel with 
four gallons of water. Let the 
mixture stand forty-eight hours, 
then add coarse train-oil, 14 gallons 14 

X^ 18 


In a few days the salt will be difsolved, 
and the mixture, upon stirring, will become 
nearly uniform. 

Take fourteen bushels of sand, or twenty of 
dry mould. Upon these, pour the above 
liquid ingredients. Turn this composition fre- 
quently over, after adding to it as much fresh 
horse dung as will "bring on heat and fer- 
mentation ; in six months it will be fit 
for use. 

I apprehend that the above quantity will be 
found sufficient for an acre : my trials, how- 
r, do not give me sufficient authority to 
de':ermine upon this point. 

For the convenience of carnage, I have di- 
rected no more earth to be used than will 
effectually take up the liquid ingredients. But 
if the farmer chooses to mix up the compost 
with the mould of his field, I would advise 
him to use a larger portion of earth, as he will 
thereby be enabled to distribute it with more 
regularity upon the surface. I have not yet 
had any extensive trial of its efficacy upon 
pasture and meadow grounds : but I presume 
that whatever will nourish corn, will also feed 


the roots of grafs. When used upon such 
lands, it should be put on during a rainy sea- 
son, as all top-drefsings are injured by the 
solar heat. 

All kinds of, cattle must be; kept off the 
lands for some time, as they will bite the grafs 
too close in quest of the salt contained in the 
compost, which I have found to be the case 
in small trials. 

I shall here observe, that the oil-compost 
is only intended to supply the place of rape- 
dust, soot, woollen rags, and other expensive 
hand-drefsings. It is in all respects inferior to 
rotten dung : where that can be obtained, every 
kind of manure must give place to it. 

At the same time that dung affords nou- 
rishment, it opens the pores of the earth. 
Hand-drefsings, on the contrary, give food 
to plants, but contribute little towards loosen- 
ing the soil. This is an useful and practical 
distinction, and may be applied through all 
the variety of manures made use of by the 

;I presume that the oil-compost resembles 


the natural food of plants ; but I submit that, 
as well as every thing else, to experience, 
our unerring guide. 

It may be objected, that it has not suf- 
ficiently undergone the putrid ferment, to 
attenuate the oily particles. The use of rape- 
dust, soot, horn shavings, and woollen rags, 
take off that objection, and at the same time 
confirm the theory upon which the above 
compost is founded. 

I do not take upon me to direct the ex- 
perienced farmer in the manner of using this 
new compost. I would have every person 
apply it in the way most agreeable to himself. 
Many things will occur to the practical hus- 
bandman, that no reasoning of the philoso- 
pher could foresee. By attending to the dif- 
ferent ways of using it, we may reap con- 
siderable advantages. Improvements may be 
collected even from the highest degree of 

Facts must ever be the foundation of our 
reasoning. Without . them, the philosopher is 
a kind .of Ignis fatiius. Instead of unfolding 
nature, he covers her with a cloud, and en- 


deavours, as it were, to bring old Chaos back 
again into the world. 

Should I presume to instruct the farmer in 
the management of the compost, I would re- 
commend it to be sown immediately after the 
grain, and both harrowed in together. 

The following experiment, though trifling 
in its own nature, gave me the first encourage- 
ment to prosecute the subject upon a larger 
scale.— I took four pots, N** 1, 2, 3, 4. 

N® 1. contained 12 lb. of barren sand, with 
1 02. of the sand oil-compost. 

N® 2. — 12 lb. of sand, without any mix- 

N** 3.— 12 lb. of sand, with i oz. of tlaked 

N* 4. — 12 lb. of sand, with 4 oz. of the 
sand oil-compost. 

In the month of March, I put six grains of 
wheat into each pot, and during the summer 
I occasionally watered the plants with filtered 


water. All the time that the plants were 
consuming the farina, I could observe but 
little diiference in their appearance. But 
after one month's growth, I remarked that 
N» 1. was the best. N° 2. the next. N" 3. 
the next. N*^ 4. much the worst. 

In August, I made the following observa- 

N° 1 . had five small ears, which contained 
a few poor grains. 

N^ 2. had three small ears, which scarce 
deserved the name of ears, containing a few 
grains, niuch inferior in goodnefs to the for- 

N^ 3. had no ears. Only I observed two 
very small ones within their respective 
sheaths, which, for want of vegetable strength, 
never made their appearance. 

N'' 4. had no earsj the stalks appearing 
stunted in their growth. 

I removed the plants from their pots, and 
took a view of the roots of each. 


N° I . The roots tolerably large, and well 

N^ 2. The roots not so large. 

N° 3. The roots very short and small. 

N" 4. The roots much the shortest, with 
the appearance of being ricketty. 

Upon this experiment I remark: 

1. That the oil-compost may be considered 
as a vegetable food : but that, when used too 
liberally, the alkaline salt will burn up the 
roots of the plant, and hinder vegetation. 
For which reason I would recommend the 
compost to be exposed to the influence of the 
air, for some months, before it is laid on. 

2. That lime contains no vegetable food, 
and is, in its own nature, an enemy to vege- 
tation. It is, however, of excellent use in 
afsisting vegetation, in the manner described 
in the first Efsay. 

My experiments teach me, that all kinds of 
soils may be benefitted by this manure. The 
lim.cstone, gravelly, sandy, and chalky soils 


seem to require it most. The rich loams and 
good clays have nourishment within them- 
selves, and stand more in need of the plough 
than the dunghill. 

It is observed by farmers, that rape-dust 
seldom succeeds with spring-corn, unlefs plen- 
tiful rains fall within a few weeks after sow- 
ing. I have more than once made the same 
observation upon the oil-compost, which in- 
duces me to recommend it for winter crops 
only. From the unctuousnefs of its nature, it 
is more than probable, that it should lie ex- 
posed for a long time to the influence of the 
weather, which benefit it is deprived of when 
used for barley, and such crops as are sown 
late in the spring, I am confirmed in this idea, 
from repeated experiments made with the 
compost upon turnips, which generally proved 
unsuccefsful. But at the same time I in- 
variably found that those parts of the field on 
which the compost had been spread, produced 
the best crops of grain the following year. 
From this slow manner of giving its virtues, 
it seems to be an improper drefsing for all 
plants that have a quick vegetation. 

Agreeably to the theory advanced in the 
first Efsay, I presume that all lands, which 


have been exhausted by frequent crops, are 
robbed of their oily particles, and consequently 
have become barren. The oil-compost, as it 
plentifully restores particles similar to those 
that are carried off, has a fair appearance of 
proving an excellent restorative. To lands 
under such circumstances, lime alone is the 
worst manure that can be applied. 

Tliis last observation naturally leads me to 
wish for a general history of manures, upon 
sound and rational principles. I cannot help 
regarding that necefsary part of husbandry, as 
a subject but imperfectly understood. AVho- 
ever succeeds in that difficult task, will prove 
himself a real friend to mankind. Without 
it, agriculture must remain a vague and un- 
certain study. 



On regelation, and the Analogy betvccn Plants and 

Vegetables are pkccd in a middle degree 
between animals and minerals. They are 
superior to minerals, in having organized 
parts ; but inferior to animals^ in being desti- 
tute of sensation. 

As they are fixed to a place, they have few 
offices to perform. An increase of body and 
maturation of their seed, seems all that is re- 
quired of them. For these purposes Provi- 
dence has wisely bestowed upon them organs 
of a wonderful mechanism. The anatomical 
investigation of these organs, is the only 
rational method of arriving at any certainty 
concerning the laws of the vegetable Economy, 
Upon this subject Dr. Hales judiciously ob- 
serves, " that as the growth and preservation 
" of vegetable life is promoted and maintained - 
*' as in animals, by the very plentiful and re- 
" gular motion of their fluids, which are the 
Volume L D 


" vehicles ordained by nature to carry nutri- 
*' ment to every part, it is therefore reasonable 
" to hope that in them also, by the same 
" method of inquiry, considerable discoveries 
" may in time be made, there being, in many 
" respects, a great analogy between plant^ 
" and animals." 

The seed of a plant, after it has dropt frorr^ 
the ovarium, may be considered as an im- 
pregnated ovum, within which the embryo 
plant is securely lodged. In a few days after 
it has been committed to the earth, we may 
discern the rudiments of the future plant, — 
tvery part appears to exist in miniature. The 
nutritive juices of the soil insinuate them- 
selves between the original particles of the 
plant, and bring about an extension of its 
parts. This is what is called the growth of 
the vegetable body. 

With regard to this increase by addition 
and extension, there seems to be a great 
analogy between the animal and vegetable 
kingdoms. In a former efsay I endeavoured 
to prove, that oily particles constitute the 
chief nourishment of plants and animals ; and 
as I apprehend that much depends upon 


a proper investigation of the subject, I shall 
occasionally introduce some other proofs in 
support of my opinion. 

Every one knows that animals, instead oi 
being strengthened, are enfe(*bled by a supply 
of improper nourishment. It is the same 
thing with regard to vegetables ; but with 
this difference, that animals refuse whatever 
is improper; while vegetables, from their paf- 
sive nature, must be content with what we 
give them. 

AVhen a farmer once becomes acquainted 
with the nature of the food of plants, he will 
find himself rationally instructed in the manner 
of compounding dunghills, and the applica- 
tion of the various manures made use of in 
husbandry. At present, no part of rural 
Economy is so imperfectly understood. — But 
to return. 

The impregnated ovum of every animal, 
after it has pafsed down the Fallopian tube, 
and fixed itself to the bottom of the uterus, is 
found to contain the tender embryo within 
two membranes called Chorion and Amnion, 
In this situation the embryo could not long 
subsist without a supply of nourishment. — 



Nature has therefore bestowed upon it a pla- 
centa and umbilical chord, through which the 
blood and juices of the mother are trans- 
mitted, for its preservation and increase. 

Seeds are disiDOsed by Providence, nearly 
in the same manner. They have tv^'o cover- 
ings, answering to the Chorion and Amnion, 
and two lobes which perform the ofBce of the 
placenta. These lobes constitute the body of 
the seed, and, in the farinaceous kinds, they 
are the flour of the grain. Innumerable small 
vefsels run through the substance of the lobes, 
which, uniting as they approach the seminal 
plant, form a small chord to be inserted into 
the body of the germ. Tlirough it the nutri- 
ment supplied by the placenta, or lobes, is 
conveyed for the preservation and increase of 
the embryo plant. 

In order that I m.ay be clearly understood, 
it will be nccefsary to observe, that the lobes 
of farinaceous grains are fixed in the earth. — 
They are therefore improperly termed sem.inal 
leaves, being rather the placenta, or cotyledons 
of the plant. On the contrary, vegetables 
that have an oily seed, as rape, hemp, line, 
and turnip, carry their lobes upw^ard, and 




spread them upon the surface, in the form of 
broad leaves. These, though they perform 
the office of a placenta, are properly seminal 
leaves; — and to this distinction 1 shall ad- 

Plate 1 . Fig. i. represents the body, or pla- 
centa of a bean, with its germ, radicle, um- 
bilical chord, and rami^cations. — a. The germ. 

b. The body, or placenta, with the umbilical 
chord and ramifications. — c. The radicle. 

Fig. S. represents the placenta, or seed- 
leaves, of a turnip, with its radicle and germ. 

a. The germ. — b. The placenta, or seed-leaves. 

c. The radicle. 

Fig. 4. represents the germ of a grain of 
wheat, with its root and capsule, containing 
the milky juice for the "nourishment of the 
tender plant. — a. The origin of the crown, — ■ 

b. The pipe of communication between the 
first roots and the crown, at this time covered 
bv a membranous sheath. — c. The errain with 
its seminal root. At this season the grain is 
filled with a milky juice, for the support of 
the plant, during vvhat may be called its 
infant state. 

D3 - 


To illustrate the subject of vegetation, let us 
take a view of what happens to a bean, after it 
has been committed to the earth. 

In a few days, sooner or later, according 
to the temperature of the weather and the 
disposition of the soil, the external cover- 
ings open at one end, and disclose to the 
naked eye part of the placenta, or body of the 
grain. This substance consists of two lobes, 
between which the seminal plant is securely 
lodged. Soon after the opening of the mem- 
branes, a sharp-pointed body appears. This 
is the root. By a kind of principle, which 
seems to carry with it some appearance of 
instinct, it seeks a pafsage downwards, and 
fixes itself into the soil. At this period the 
root is a smooth and polished body, and per- 
haps has but little power to absorb any thing 
from the earth, for the nourishment of the- 

The two lobes now begin to separate, and 
the germ, with its leaves, may plainly be dis- 
covered. As the germ increases in size, the 
lobes are further separated, and the tender 
leaves being closely joined, push themselves 
forward in the form of a wedge. 

These leaves take a contrary direction to the 


root. Influenced by the same miraculous in- 
stinct, if I may be allowed the exprefsion, 
they seek a pafsage upward, which having ob- 
tained, they lay aside their wedge-like form, 
and spread themselves in a horizontal direc- 
tion, as being the best adapted for receiving 
the rains and dews. 

The radicle, every hour increasing in size 
and vigour, pushes itself deeper into the 
earth, from which it now draws some nutri- 
tive particles. At the same time the leaves 
of the germ, being of a succulent nature, 
afsist the plant, by attracting from the atmos- 
phere such particles as their tender vefsels 
are fit to convey. These particles, how^ever, 
are of a watery kind, and have not, in their 
own nature, a sufficiency of nutriment for the 
increasing plant. 

Vegetables and animals, during their ten- 
der states, require a large share of balmy 
nourishment. As soon as an animal is brought 
into life, the milk of its mother is supplied in 
a liberal stream, while the tender germ seems 
only to have the crude and watery juices of 
the earth for its support. In that, however, 
we are deceived. The Author of Nature, with 



equal eye, watches over the infancy of all his^ 
works. The animal enjoys the milky humour 
of its parent. The vegetable lives upon a 
similar fluid," though differently supplied. — 
For its use the farinaceous lobes are melted 
down into a rnilky juice, which, as long as it 
lasts, is conveyed to the tender plant by means 
of innumerable small vefsels, which are spread 
through the substance of the lobes. These 
vefsels, uniting into one common trunk, enter 
the body of the germ, and perform the office 
of an umbilical chord. Without this supply 
of balmy liquor, the plant must inevitably 
have perished, its root being then too small 
to absorb a sufficiency of food, and its body 
too weak to afsimilate it into nourishment.^ — 
See Plate 1. Fig. 1. and 4. 

Turnips, and all the tribe of Brafsicas, in- 
opposition to the leguminous and farinaceous 
plants, spread their seminal leaves upon the 
surface. These leaves contain all the oil of 
the seed, which, when diluted by the moisture 
of the atmosphere, forms an emulsion of the 
most nourishing qualitv. How similar is this 
juice to the milk of animals ! On account of 
its swectnefs, the seminal leaves are greedily 
devoured by the fly. 


Tliis demonstrably proves that oil con- 
stitutes the nourishment of plants in their 
tender state ; and, by a fair inference, we may 
suppose that it also nourishes them as they 
advance in growth, 

A grain of wheat, as soon as the germ has 
made its appearance, shows the milky liquor 
to the naked eye ; but the umbilical chord, 
with its ramifications, as far as I know, can 
only be discovered by anal(^y. As the plant 
increases in size, the balmy juice diminishes, 
till at last it is quite exhausted. The um- 
bilical chord then dries up, and the external 
covering of the grain appears connected to 
the root in the form of a shrivelled bag. — 
See Plate 1. Fig. 2. c. 

Here is no mortality. From the moment 
that the seed is lodged in its parent earth, the 
vegetative soul begins its operations, and, in 
one continued miracle, proves the wisdom 
and bounty of an almighty Providence. 

It is worthy of observation, that farinaceous 
vegetables and oviparous animals are nourish- 
ed, in their tender states, nearly in the same 
manner. 2 


We have already seen that the embryo 
plant is supported by the farina melted down 
into a rTiilky liquor, and conveyed into its 
body by means of an umbilical chord, at a 
time when the radicle was unable to supply 
a sufficiency of nutriment. 

An oviparous animal, from the time that 
it is brought into light, seems to receive all 
its nourishment from without. This, how- 
ever, is only an appearance. The yolk of 
the tgg, remaining entire during incubation, 
is received into the body of the animal, and^ 
in a manner similar to the pafsage of the 
milky juice of the vegetable, is slowly con- 
veyed into the vefsels of the tender chick. — 
Thus a sweet nourishment is prepared at a 
time when neither the industry of the animal^, 
nor the attention of its mother, could have 
procured a sufficient supply. 

How beautiful are the general laws of 
Providence ! The more we explore them, th6 
more we have cause for wonder and astonish- 
ment. Every thing is wisely disposed ; 
nothing is fortuitous : all is order, regularity, 
and wisdom. 



On Sleeps. 

f j 'T 
JL HE steeping of seeds in prolific liquors 

is not of modern invention. The Romans, 
who were good husbandmen, have left us 
several receipts for the steeping of grain, in 
order to increase the powers of vegetation. — 
In England, France, Italy, and in all countries 
where agriculture has been attended to, we 
see a variety of liquors recommended for the 
same purpose. Good nourishment has ever 
been observed to add strength and vigour to 
all vegetables. Hence it was natural to sup- 
pose that, by filling the vefsels of the grain- 
with nourishing liquors, the germ, with its 
roots, would be invigorated. How far this 
reasoning is founded upon just principle Sy. 
remains to be examined. 

For my part, I am not an advocate for 
steeps. All my experiments demonstrate that 
they have no inherent virtue. I have more 
than once sown the same seed, steeped and 


unstecped, and though all other circumstances: 
^vere minutely alike, yet I never could observe 
the least difference in the growth of the crop. 
I ccnfefs that when the iiglit seeds are 
skimmed off, as in the operation of brining, 
the crop will be improved, and diseases pre- 
vented : but these advantages proceed from 
the goodnefs of the grain sown, and not from 
any prolific virtue of the steep. 

I am happy in not being singular in my 
objection to steeps. JMany rational farmers 
have been induced to quit their prejudices, 
and are now convinced, from their own trials, 
that there is no dependence upon proJific 
liquors, though ever so well recommended. — 
Some people have been hardy enough to per- 
suade themselves, that the tillering of wheat 
mav be so much increased bv invijroratins: the 
grain, that only one half of the seed will be 

Duhamel, one of the most accurate of 
the experimental husbandmen, and a most 
excellent philosopher, speaks, in the strongest 
terms, against the practice of steeping, so far 
as it supposes an impregnation of vegetative 
particles. I shall not here repeat his experi- 


mcnts. I shall only observe, that they are 
such as any farmer may make. They are 
plain and conclusive. 

Good seed, when sown upon land in ex- 
cellent tilth, will always produce a plentiful 
crop. The best of grain impregnated to the 
full with the most approved steep, and sown 
upon land indifferently prepared, will for ever 
balk the hopes of the farmer. 

I do not presume to condemn the practice 
in positive terms, because my experiments are 
against it. Other experiments may be op- 
posed to mine. I shall therefore rest the 
whole upon a description of what happens to 
the grain after it has been committed to the 
earth, and hope that I shall be able to explain 
myself with sufficient perspicuity. The sub- 
ject is curious, and the discufsion of it not 
very difficult. 

A grain of wheat contains, within two cap- 
sules,'' a considerable share of flour, which, 
when melted down into a liquor by the 
watery juices of the earth, constitutes the 
nourishment of the tender plant, until its roots 
are jrrown sufficiently large to absorb their 


own food. Here is evidently a storehouse ot 
nutriment. And from that idea it is plain 
that the plumpest grains are the most eligible 
for seed. 

Some have imagined that poor grains may 
be so impregnated, as to make them equal in 
vegetative force to the largest. I have more 
than once made the experiment, and am con- 
vinced that plump seeds, of the same heap, 
are superior in goodnefs to the small ones, 
though ever so carefully macerated. The 
•farina being the food of the embryo plant, 
it follows that the vegetative powers will be 
increased in proportion to its quantity. This 
observation applies to those farmers who send 
their large and plump beans to market, and 
preserve the small ones for seed. 

I have sprouted all kinds of grain in a 
variety of steeps, and can afsure the farmer, 
that the radicle and germ never appeared so 
vigorous and healthy, as when sprouted by 
elementary water : an argument that the seed 
requires no afsistance. The same steep, 
when applied in quantity to the soil, will un- 
undoubtedly invigorate the roots, and nourish 
the plant ^ but in that case it operates in com- 


mon with other manures, and loses the idea 
of a steep. 

As nitre, sea-salt, and dung, are generally 
added to the steeps, I have constantly ob- 
served that their application rendered the 
radicle and germ yellow and sickly ; a plain 
proof that they were unnaturally used at that 
season. Did the farina need any additional 
particles, it might be supposed, that broth 
made of the flesh of animals would be the 
most agreeable. To be satisfied of that, 
I sprouted some grains in beef broth, and an 
equal number in simple water. The result 
was, that the radicle and germ produced by 
the broth, were weaker and lefs healthy than 
the others sprouted by the pure element. — 
The seeds were afterwards sown, but I could 
not perceive any difference in the ears w^hen 
arrived at maturity. 

From these, and many other reasons, I am. 
induced to think that all invigorating steeps 
are only additional troubles and expense to 
the farmer. Correct experiments do not 
seem to prove their efficacy. 

It is customary for the farmer to brine his 
seed-wheat and afterwards to limq it, with 


a view to prevent the smut ; conceiving that 
the brine and lime, by a kind of corrosion, 
will act upon such seeds as are infected with 
smut. But others are of opinion, that the 
brining onlv serves to enable the farmer to skim 
off the weak grains ; a circumstance that, 
with a certainty, will improve the crop. — 
And here I beg leave to observe, that I con- 
fine my idea of steeps to the supposed power 
of giving to seeds a vegetative force by means 
of certain prolific liquors which are thought to 
invigorate the germ, by mixing with the fari- 
naceous part of the seed. 

To sum up alL I shall venture to say, that 
plump seed, clear of weeds, and land well 
prepared to receive it, will seldom disappoint 
the expectations of the farmer: and upon these 
he should rely for the goodnefs of his crop. 

<;eorgical essays. 65 


On the Roots of Wheat, 

It is not sufficient for the farmer to be 
acquainted with the nature of the different 
soils. He should also know the shape of the 
roots of such plants as are used in field- 
husbandry. The soil and roots are so in- 
timately connected, that tl>e knowledge cf 
both becomes efser^tial. 

I have selected the roots of wheat for the 
subject of the present efsay. That grain, being 
the most valuable, demands our greatest 

Wheat has two sets of roots. The first 
comes immediately from the grain ; the other 
shoots from the crown some time after. — 
I shall distinguish them by seminal and 
goronal roots. 

Plants, according to their species, observe 
a regular uniformity in the manner of spread- 
ing their roots , for which reason the same 

Volume I, E 


grain cannot be continued long upon the 
same soil. It is not that each takes from the 
earth such particles as are congenial. The 
food of all plants is the same ; only some 
require more, some lefs. Sorrje take it near 

the surface, others seek it deeper. This 

opens to our view a noble field of instruction. 
A careful inspection of a healthy root will at 
once demonstrate the bias .of nature. An 
examination of the soil will show how far 
they will coincide. This is the rational basis 
of the change of species, so well understood 
in Norfolk, where tap-rooted plants always 
follow those that root superficially. 

"Wlieat being subject to the severity of 
winter, its roots are wonderfully disposed to 
withstand the inclemency of the season.— 
A view of their shape will direct us in the 
manner of sowing that grain to the most ad- 
vantasre ; and at the same time enable us 
to account for some of the phcencmena qb- 
servable in the growth of it. 

I have observed that wheat has a double 
root. The first, or seminal root, is pushed put 
at the same time with the germ, which, tor 
gether with the farina, nourishes the plant 


until it has formed its crown. Plate 1. Fig. 4. 
a. The origin of the crown. — -b. The pipe of 
communication, at this time covered witli 
a membranous sheath, — c. The grain with 
its seminal root. 

In the spring, when the crown has become 
sufficiently large, it detaches a number of 
strong fibres, which push themselves obliquely 
downwards. Tliese are the coro7ial roots. — 
A small pipe preserves the communication 
between them and the seminal roots. It 
makes an efsential part of the plant, and is 
observed to be longer or shorter, according to 
the depth that the seed has been buried. It is 
remarkable, however, that the crown is always 
formed just within the surface. Its place is 
the same, whether the grain has been sown 
d«ep or superficial. I believe I do not err 
when I call this vegetabk instinct As the in- 
crease and fructification of the plant depends 
upon the vigorous absorption of the coronal 
roots, it is no wonder that they shoukl fix 
themselves so near the surface, where the soil 
is alwavs the richest. From an attention to 
this circumstance, we are led to explain the 
i^peration of top-drefsings. 



In the northern counties wheat is generally 
sown late. When the frost comes, the coronal 
roots, being young, are frequently chilled. — 
This inconvenience, however, may easily be 
prevented by sowing more early, and burying 
the seed deeper. The seminal roots being 
out of the reach of the frost, will then be 
enabled to send up nourishment to the crown, 
by means of the pipe of communication, 

Plate 1. Fig. 2. represents a plant of wheat 
sown at a proper depth. — a. The crown with 
its roots. — b. The pipe of communication. — 
c. The seminal roots, with the capsule of the 

Plate 2. Fig. 5. shows a plant of wheat 
sown superficial. — a. The crown and roots. — 
h. The pipe of communication. — c. The s^mU 
nal roots, and capsule of the grain, 

Hence it is obvious that wheat, sowq 
superficially, must be exposed to the severity 
of the frost from the shortnefs of the pipe of 
communication. The plant, in that situation, 
has no benefit from its double root. On the 
contrary, when the grain has been properly 
covered, the seminal and coronal roots are 


kept at a reasonable distance — The crovvn, 
being well nourished during the winter, sends 
up numerous stalks in the spring. — On the 
tillering of the corn, the goodnefs of the crop 
principally depends. A field of wheat dibled, 
or sown in equi-distant rows by the drill- 
plough, always makes a better appearance 
than one sown by the harrows. In the one, 
the pipe of communication is regularly of the 
same length j but in the other it is irregular 3 
being either too long or too short. 

From these anatomical facts, many practical 
advantages may be reaped. I shall not here 
relate them. They will readily occur to tin 
«1iscerning husbandman. 

70 GEOli&ICAL ES&AY^i 


Oti Vegetation and the Motion of the Sap. 

Animal bodlesy from the nature of theif 
structure, are liable to diseases. Vegetables, 
being lefs complicated, have fewer maladies. 
The laws of the animal economy are dis=- 
covered by anatomical inspection. Tlie vege- 
table economy has the same foundation. 

Malpighi and Grew, unknown to each 
other, undertook the anatonriy of plants nearly 
about the same time. The engravings that 
they have left us, are lasting monuments of 
their industry and attention. Many things, 
however, have been found out since their days. 
Many things remain yet to be discovered. 

The general and obvious parts of a plant 
!fire five. The root, the stem, the branches, the 
leaves, the flower. The component parts of 
these divisions are simple in comparison to the 
animal body. Tlie offices of a vegetable, 
being only increase and fructification, there^ 
was no necefsity for a complicated structure. ■ 


A good microscope discovers the con- 
stituent parts of a plant to be, 1 . A very thin 
cuter rind. 2. An inner rind, much thicker 
than the former. 3. A blea, of a spungy 
texture. 4. A w-iscular series; 5. A fleshy 
substance, which answers to the wood ot 
a tree, or shrub. 6. Pyramidal vefsels con- 
tained within the fiesh. And, 7. A pith. 

Whatever part of the plant wc examine, vvc 
observe these, and no more. The root, its 
ascending stalk, and<lescending fibre, are one 
and not three substances. This reduces the 
entire vegetable to one body, and what ap- 
pears in the flovi^er to be many parts, are only 
the extremities of the seven above-mentioned. 
The cup terminates the outer bark. The 
inner riiid ends in the outer petals. The blea 
forms the inner petals. The vascular series 
ends in the nectaria. The fiesh makes the 
filaments. The pyramidal vefsels form the 
receptacle. The pith furnishes the seeds and 
their capsules. 

words not being able to convey an ade- 
quate idea of these parts, 1 must beg leave to 
refer the reader to the excellent engravings 
of Dr. Hill, as published in his Vegetable 




As I apprehend that his researches into thtf 
vegetable creation are more minute than those 
of his predecefsors, I have followed him in the 
enumeration of the constituent parts of a plant. 
He has justly recommended the black helle- 
bore as the properest subject for difsection. — 
It is a perennial plant of a firm texture, and 
not too complex, consisting only of a root, 
radical leaves, and a flower stem. 

A careful maceration of the parts, a good 
microscope, and a most delicate touch, are 
efsentially necefsary towards investigating the 
structure of vegetable bodies. 

Trees, shrubs, and herbs are organized in 
the same manner ; but the colour and thick- 
nefs of their component psrts are difFerent^ 
according to their respective natures. 

The outer bark is the first thing that pre- 
sents itself to our view. It has the appear- 
ance of a fine film full of irregular meshes, 
though in reality it consists of two mem- 
branes, with a scries of vefsels between them. 
These take their course upwards, and as they 
advance towards the cup of the flower inoscu- 
late with the small vefsels of the inner bark, 
into which they pour part of the juices they 


have received from the earth and the atmos- 
phere. The fine lileshes serve the purposes 
of inhalent or exhalent pores, according to the 
circumstances of the weather. 

The i'rtner bark is much thicker than the 
Outer. It is made up of several flakes laid 
evenly upon one another, each of which con- 
sists of two membranes inclosing a series of 
vefsels. These communicate freely through 
the whole substance of the rind, and as they 
inosculate with the vefsels of the outer bark, 
so they also communicate with those of the 

The blea lies immediately under the inner 
bark. It is one complete and single sub- 
stance, uniform in its structure. It is of 
ft considerable thickncfs, and is made up of 
beds of hexagonal cells. In the angles formed 
by these cells, we observe the vefsels of the 
blea. They pour their contents into the cells, 
which appear to be reservoirs for the water 
imbibed by the plant. 

Underneath the blea, lies the fourth sub- 
stance called the Vascular Scries. Its struc- 
ture is extremely simple, being a single course 


of greenish vefscls lodged between two mem- 
branes. It terminates in the nectaria. At 
a certain season of the year, the juices of the 
vascular series are Very mucilaginous. 7 hey 
are particularly so in the holly, and seem to 
be more elaborated than those of the blea. — 
Its vefsels have a free eonimunication .^vith■ 
the wood and blea. 

The favourers of a circulation afsert, that 
through these vefsels, the returning sap de- 
scends ; but by the most accurate experiments 
of Dr. Hales, it appears that the vegetable 
juices do rise and fall in the same series of 
vefsels, and consequently have no circulation. 

The wood, or fleshy part of a plalit, comesf 
liext to be examined. In this the life of the 
vegetable f;eems to be placed. It is universal 
in the plant, and is made up of strong fibres. 
From it all the other parts are produced. It 
shoots a pith invv^ard, and a rind, blea, and 
vascviiar Jicries outward. 1 he filaments in the 
flower, which are efsential parts in the pro* 
duction of new plants, are continuations of it. 
And as the seed-vefsels are' portions of the 
pith, so are the petals and nectaria con* 
tinuatlons of the rind, blea, and vascular 


^eYies ; all which the plant shoots outward. 
Through every part of the wood, or flesh, 
there are vefsels that carry a juice highly ela- 
borated, the greatest part of which has under- 
gone the concoction of the rinds, blea, and 
Vascular series. The woody fibres constitute 
an order of vefsels, which are named Trachea;. 
These are filled with elastic air, and may be 
discovered, by the eye, in the wood of all 
-trees. The Tracheae make up an arterial 
system, and supply the place of the heart in 
animals. Being filled with air, they become 
subject to the alternacies of heat and cold. — 
Their use shall be explained hereafter. 

The pyramidal vefsels are spread through 
all the substance of the flesh, andy as they ad- 
vance upwards, their ramifications inosculate, 
so as to prevent any pofsible obstruction of the 
sap. Their juices, as I have observed, arc 
highly elaborated, having pafsed through all 
the orders of sap-vefsels. It will here be 
necefsary to remark, that the sides of these 
vefsels are constantly in contact with -the 
Trachcce ; so that, from the nature of their 
f situation, they must, at all times, be subject 
to the vicifsitudes of the weather. The pyra- 


midal vefsels communicate with the pith, 
which remains to be described. 

The pith is to be found in all trees, shrubs, 
;5nd plants. It occupies the centre, but is not 
always regularly continued. When examined 
byamicroscope,it has the appearance of a num- 
ber of vesicles, and is of an uniform structure. 
It does not appear to be absolutely necefsary 
to vegetation, as we often observe elms and 
other trees, to live and thrive without it. — ■- 
In trees it is found in the branches, being 
obliterated in the trunk. The vefsels of the 
flesh communicate with it. From them it re- 
ceives a fluid ; and probably it is the re- 
ceptacle of some part of the sap. In extreme 
dry weather such a store may be necefsary. 

Transverse sections of the ribs of lea\^s dis-^ 
cover it. When minutely traced, it is found 
to run up to the ovarium, where it forms the 
seeds and their capsules. 

From this survey of the anatomy of a plant, 
it is evident that there is a correspondence be- 
tween all its parts. By means of a variety of 
strainers, different juices a;e prepared frora. 


the same mafs. M itter, considered as matter, 
has no share in the qualities of bodies. It is 
from the arrangement of it that we have so 
many different substances in nature. We 
may eat the earth, and we may drink the 
water that moistens it, and yet, from the 
modification of its parts, it is capable of pro- 
ducing both bread and poison. 

We reason improperly, when we say that 
every plant takes from the earth such particles 
^ are natural to it. A lemon, ingrafted upon 
an orange stock, is capable of changing the 
sap of the orange into its own nature, by 
a different arrangement of the nutritive juices. 
A mafs of innocent earth can give life and 
viffour to the bitter aloe, and to the sweet 
cane ; to the cool house-leek, and to the 
fiery mustard ; to the nourishing grains, and to 
the deadly night-shade, 

The fibres of a root are supposed to be 
simple capillary tubes : but upon a minute 
inspection, we discover them to consist of the 
seven component parts of the plant. At their 
extremities we observe a spungy kind of ex- 
crefcence Dierced with innumerable small 
holes, Through these the nutritive juices of 


the earth are absorbed. When a plant has 
been pulled up, it will be retarded in its 
growth, until nature has renewed that spungy 

The bark and leaves of a plant imbibe, at 
proper seasons, the moisture of the atmosphere. 
At other times they perspire the superfluous 
nourishment. This opens to our view an ex^ 
tensive prospect of the vegetable economy. 

We have already seen that all the parts of 
a plant arc the same. They only differ in 
shape. The roots are formed sharp and 
pointed, to make their pafsage easier through 
the earth. The leaves are made broad, to 
catch the moisture of the air with more readi- 
refs. When the root of a tree happens to be 
elevated, instead of being retained within the 
earth, it afsumes the appearance of a perfect 
plant, with leaves and branches. Experi- 
ments show us that a young tree may have its 
branches placed in the earth, and its roots 
elevated in the air ; and in that inverted state 
it will continue to live and grow. 

The air contains, especially during the sumr 
mer months, all the principles of vegetation, 



Oil (phlogiston) for the perfect food, water to 
dilute it, and salts to afsimilate it. Tliesc are 
grecdilyabsorbed by the vefsels of the leaves and 
bark, and conveyed to the innermost parts of the 
plant for its growth and fructification. AVhen 
the air happens to be cold and moist, this ab- 
sorption takes place. When it is hot and dry, 
the same vefsels throw off the superfluous 
moisture by perspiration. In animals, the 
kidneys and pores of the skin carry off the 
superfluity. The vegetable not having kid- 
neys perspires more than the animal. — 
Dr. Hales has demonstrated that this perspira- 
tion is considerable. I shall here transcribe 
his statical experiments upon the sunrflower, 
for the benefit of those who may not have an 
opportutiity of examining the orighial. 

" July 3, 1724. In order to find out the 
" quantity imbibed and perspired by the sun- 
*' flower, I took a garden-pot (Plate 1. Fig. 6^) 
" with a large sunflower, a, Z feet 4l inches 
" high, which was purposely planted in it 
*' when young : it was of the large annual 
" kind. 

*' I covered the pot with a plate of thin 
*' milled lead, and cemented all the joints fast. 


" SO as no vapour could pafs, but only air, 
« through a small glafs tube, b, nine inches 
** long, which was fixed purposely near the 
•* stem of the plant, to make a free communi- 
" cation with the outward air, and that 
" under the leaden plate^ 

*• I cemented also another short glafs tube, 
" c. into the plate, two inches long and one 
" inch in diameter. Through this tube I 
•' watered the plant, and then stopped up also 
'* the holes, d, e, at the bottom of the pot 
•* with corks. 

" I weighed this plant and pot, morning 
" and evening, for fifteen several days, from 
" July 3 to August 8, after which I cut off 
" the plant close to the leaden plate, and then 
" covered the stump well with cement, and 
*' upon weighing found there perspired through 
" the unglazed porous pot two ounces every 
" twelve hours day, which being allowed in 
" the daily weighing of the plant and pot, 
" I found the greatest perspiration of twelve 
*' hours, in a very warm dry day, to be one 
" pound fourteen ounces ; the middle rate of 
** perspiration, one pound four ounces. The 
" perspiration of a dry w^arm nighty without 


*' any sensible dew, was about three ounces ; 
" but when any sensible, though small dew, 
" then the perspiration was nothing ; and 
" when a large dew, or some little rain in the 
" night, the plant and pot was increased in 
*' weight two or three ounces. 

" N. B. I used avoirdupois weights. 

" I cut off all the- leaves of this plant, and 
" laid them in five several parcels, according 
** to their several sizes, and then measured the 
" surface of a leaf of each parcel, by laying 
" over it a large lattice made with threads, in 
" which the little squares were a quarter of an 
" inch each ; by numbering of which I had 
" the surface of the leaves in square inches, 
** which, multiplied by the number of the 
" leaves in the corresponding parcels, gave me 
** the area of all the leaves ; by which means 
" I found the surface of the whole plant, above 
** ground, to be equal to 5616 square inches, 
** or 59 square feet. 

*' I dug up another sun-flower, nearly of 
" the same size, which had eight main roots, 
*' reaching fifteen inches deep and sideways 
" from the stem : it had besides a very thick 
" bush of lateral roots, from the eight main 
Volume /, F ' 


" roots, which extended every way in a 
" hemisphere, about nine inches from the 
" stem and main roots. 

" In order to get an estimate of the length 
" of all the roots, I took one of the main 
" roots, with its laterals, and measured and 
" weighed them ; and then weighed the other 
" seven roots, with their laterals ; by which 
" means I found the sum of the length of all 
" the roots to be no lefs than 1448 feet. 

" And supposing the periphery of these 
" roots at a medium, to be 0.131 of an inch, 
" then their surface will be 2276 square inches, 
" or 15.8 square feet; that is equal to 0.4 of 
" surface of the plant above ground, 

" If, as above, twenty ounces of water, at 
" a medium, perspired in twelve hours day, 
" (i. e.) thirty-four cubic inches of water, 
*' (a cubic inch of water weighing 254 
** grains) then the thirty-four cubic inches 
" divided by the surface of all the roots, 
" is = 2286 square inches (i. e.) ^^^ is = -gV; 
*' this gives the depth of water imbibed by 
" the whole surface of the roots, viz. -^V part 
" of an inch. 


** And the surface of the plant above- 
" ground being 5616 square inches, by which 
'^^ dividing the thirty-four cubic inches, viz. 
" tI^s = t|t' ^^his gives the depth perspired 
by the whole surface of the plant above 
ground, viz. t^t part of an inch. 

" Hence, the velocity with which water 
** enters the surface of the roots to supply the 
" expense of perspiration, is to the velocity 
" with which their sap perspires, as 165 .* 67, 
^* or as ^V \ T3T> or nearly as 5 : 2. 

" The area of the transverse cut of the 
" middle of the stem is a square inch ; there- 
^* fore the areas, on the surface of the leaves, 
*« the roots and stem, are 5616, 2276. 1. 

" The velocities in the surface of the leaves, 
" roots, and transverse cut of the stem, are 
** gained by a reciprocal proportion of the 
^* surfaces. 

«*. r leaves = 5616 
g -J roots =2276 
'< (stem = 1 

> } = \) (34 inch. 

" Now, their perspiring 34 cubic inches 
*' in twelve hours day, there must so much 
*' jpafs through the stem in that time j and the 



*' velocity would be at the rate of 34 inches in 
" twelve hours, if the stem were quite 
" hollow.** 

" In order therefore to find out the quantity 
" of solid matter in the stem, July 27, at 7, 
" a. m. I cut up even with the ground a sun- 
" flower ; it weighed 3 pounds ; in thirty 
" days it was very dry, and had wasted in all 
" 2 pounds 4 ounces : that is I of its whole 
" weight : so here is a fourth part left for 
" solid parts in the stem, (by throwing a piece 
" of green sun-flower stem into water, I found 
" it very near of the same specific gravity 
" with water) which filling up so much of the 
" stem, the velocity of the sap must be in- 
" creased proportionably, viz. f part more, 
*^ (by reason of the reciprocal proportion) that 
"34 cubick inches may pafs the stem in 
** twelve hours ; whence its velocity in the 
** stem will be 4 Si inches in twelve hours, 
*' supposing there be no circulation, nor re- 
" turn of the sap downwards. 

" If there be added to 34, (which is the 
" least velocity) f of it - 111, this gives the 
" greatest velocity, viz. 45f. The spaces 
" being as 3 : 4. the velocities will be 
"4:3 :: 457 : 34. 


" But if we suppose the pores in the sur- 
« face of the leaves to bear the same propor- 
" tion as the area of the sap-vefsels in the stem 
" do to the area of the stem ; then the 
« velocity both in the leaves, root, and stem, 
« will be increased in the same proportion. 

" A pretty exact account having been taken 
" of the weight, size, and surface of this plant, 
" and of the quantities it has imbibed and per- 
" spired, it may not be improper here to enter 
" into a comparison of what is taken in and 
*' perspired by a human body, and this 
« plant. 

<« The weight of a well-sized man is equal 
"to 160 pounds: the weight of the sun- 
" flower is 3 pounds ; so their weights are to 
" each other as ICO : 3, or as 53 : 1. 

" The surface of such human body is equal 
" to 15 square feet, or 2160 square inches. 

" The surface of a sunflower is 5616 square 
" inches ; so its surface is, to the surface of 
" a human body, as 26 : 10. 

" The quantity perspired by a man in 



"twenty-four hours is about 31 ounces, a3 
" Dr. Keill found. Vkl Medic. Stat. Britait. 

'' p 14. 

" The quantity perspired by the plant, irt 
*' the same time, is 22 ounces, allowing 
*' two ounces for the perspiration of the be- 
" ginning and ending of the night in July, 
*' viz. after evening, and before morninof 
*' weighing, just before and after night. 


" So the perspiration of a man to the sun- 
*' flower is as r41 : 100. 

" Abating the six ounces of the thirty-one 
** ounces, to be carried off by respiration from 
" the lungs in the twenty-four hours ; (which 
" I have found by certain experiment to be so 
" much, if not more) the twenty-five ounces 
" multiplied by 458, the number of grains in 
" an ounce avoirdupois, the product is 10,950 
" grains ; which divided by 254, the number 
" of grains in a cubic inch of water, gives 
" 43 cubick inches perspired by a man : 
" which divided by the surface of his body, 
" viz. 2160 square inches, the quotient rs 
" nearly j'o part of a cubic inch perspired off 
" a square inch in twenty-four hours. There- 


*' fore in equal surfaces, and equal times, the 
" man perspires ^Vj the plant t^t, or as 50 : 15. 

" Which excefs in the man is occasioned 
" by the very different degrees of heat in 
" each : for the heat of the plant cannot be 
" greater than the heat of the circumambient 
" air, which heat in summer is from 25 to 35 
" degrees above the freezing point j but the 
" heat of the v^armest external parts of 
" a man's body is 54 such degrees, and the 
" heat of the blood 64 degrees ; which is 
" nearly equal to water heated to such a de- 
" gree as a man can well bear to hold his 
*' hand in, stirring it about ; which heat is 
" sufficient to make a plentiful evaporation. 

« 2u. Since then the perspirations of equal 
" areas in a man and a sun-Hower are to each 
" other as 165 : 50, or as 3i : 1; and since 
" the degrees of heat are as 2 : 1, must not 
" the sum or quantity of the areas of the 
" pores lying in equal surfaces, in the man 
" and sun-flower, be as 1 ^ : 1 ? for it seems 
*' that the quantities of the evaporated fluid 
" will be as the degrees of heat, and the 
" sum of the areas of the pores, taken 
" together. 



" Dr. KeiJl, by estimating the quantities of 
" the several evacuations of his bodv, found 
** that he eat and drank, every 24 hours, 
" 4 pounds 10 ounces. 

" The sun-flower imbibed and perspired in 
" the same time 22 ounces ; so the man*s 
" food to that of the plant, is as 74 ounces to 
" 22 ounces, or as 7 : 2. 

" But, compared bulk for bulk, the 
" plant imbibes 17 times more fresh food 
*' than the man ; for deducting 5 ounces, 
** which Dr. Keill allows for the faeces alii, 
" there will remain 4 pounds 5 ounces of 
" fresh liquor, which enters a man's veins ; 
*' and an equal quantity pafses off every 
" 24 hours. Then it will be found, that 
•* 17 times more new fluid enters the sap- 
'" vefsels of the plant, and pafses off in 
'' 24 hours, than there enters the veins of 
'' a man, and pafses off in the same time. 

" And since, compared bulk for bulk, the 
" plant perspires 17 times more than the man, 
'* it was therefore very necefsar}', by giving it 
" an extensive surface, to make a large pro- 
'' vision for a plentiful perspiration in the 


" plant, which has no other way of discharging 
** superfluities ; whereas there is provision 
*' made in man, to carry off above half of what 
*' he takes in, by other evacuations, 

" For since neither the surface of his body 
" was extensive enough to cause sufficient 
" exhalation, nor the additional reek, arising 
** from the heat of his blood, could carry off 
** above half the fluid which was necefsary to 
" be discharged every 24 hours ; there was 
*' a necefsity of providing the kidneys to per- 
" colate the other half through. 

" And whereas it is found that 17 times 
" more enters, bulk for bulk, into the sap- 
" vefsels of the plant, than into the veins of 
" a man, and goes off in 24 hours : one rea- 
" son of this greater plenty of fresh fluid ia 
" the vegetable than the animal body, may be, 
''^ because the fluid which is filtrated through 
" the roots immediately from the earth, is not 
" near so full freighted with nutritive particles 
" as the chyle which enters the lacteals of 
" animals ; which defect it was necefsary to 
" supply by the entrance of a much greater 
'' quantity of fluid. And the motion of the 
" sap is thereby much accelerated, which in 


" the heaftlefs vegetable would otherwise be 
" very slow: it having probably only a pro- 
*' grefsive and not a circulating motion, as in 
" animals. Since then a plentiful pcrspira- 
" tion is found so necefsary for the health of 
"^ a plant or tree, it is probable that many of 
" their distempers are owing to a stoppage of 
" this perspiration, by inclement ^ir. 

" The perspiration in men is often stopped 
" to a fatal degree ; not only by the in- 
" clemency of the air, but by intemperance, 
" and violent heats and colds. But in the 
" more temperate vegetable, perspiration can 
" be stopped only by inclement air ; unlefs by 
" an unkindly soil, or want of genial moisture, 
*' it is deprived of proper or sufficient nourish- 
" ment. 

" As Dr. Keill observed in himself a con- 
" siderable latitude of degrees of healthy per- 
" spiration, from a pound and a half to three 
*' pounds ; I have also observed a healthy 
" latitude of perspiration in this sun-flower, 
*' from 16 to 28 ounces, in twelve hours day. 
" The more it was watered, the more plen- 
" tifully it perspired, (deteris paribus) and 
" with scanty watering the perspiration much 
" abated." 


!from these accurate experiments, it is 
evident that vegetables inspire and expire. — 
Pure air is necefsary for animals. Vegetables 
require the same. When obliged to breathe 
their own vapours, they become unhealthy. — 
For that reason corn is seldom good in small 
inclosures; neither are trees healthy when 
much crowded. The superior goodnefs of the 
grain produced by the drill and alternate 
husbandry, evinces the necefsity of a free cir- 
culation of air. There is a certain height to 
which the soil ought to raise the ears of corn. 
When, from too much closenefs, they are ele- 
vated beyond that pitch, the real nourishment 
that should go to the grain, is spent upon the 
straw. The stems also that should have been 
hardened by the air, become weak, and 
unable to stand against moderate storms of 
wind and rain. 

The culture of beans shows the truth of 
this observation. When sown too thick, they 
push themselves upward with seeming vigour, 
and the crop has the appearance of being 
a good one. But when examined, we find 
the pods small, and few in number. On the 
contrary, when sown in drills, with proper in- 
tervals, the straw is shorter, and the- pods 


much larger, and more numerous. I do not 
argue for the drill husbandry in general ; but 
with regard to beans and turnips, it is a 
rational and profitable practice. 

Farmers may object to the difficulty of keep- 
ing the intervals clear of weeds. When 
hoers cannot be procured, sheep are said to 
be excellent weeders. The intervals, how- 
ever, are best cleaned by the common horse- 
hoe. A drill crop of beans is always superior 
to a crop sown by the hand. But to return 
to our philosophical argument. 

Tlie analogy that subsists betvreen plants 
and animals, has induced some very eminent 
naturalists to suppose a regular circulation of 
the vegetable juices. M. Perrault, M. Major, 
M. Marriotte, Malpighi, and our country- 
man Grew, contended, much about the same 
time, for the circulation of the sap. Accord- 
ing to their microscopical observations, the 
wood of trees, and the flesh of plants, consist of 
fine capillary tubes, which run parallel from 
the root, through the trunk and. branches.— 
These they looked upon as arteries. Other 
minute vefsels were observed running between 
the wood and inner bark, which they distin- 


guished by the name of veins. They also 
described, very correctly, the Trachea, or air- 
vefsels, which take their course through the 
fibres of the wood. These anatomical pre- 
liminaries being settled, they proceeded to 
reason in this manner. 

The root having absorbed a quantity of 
juice from the earth, it is made to ascend 
through the vefsels of the wood, by the alter- 
nate expansion and contraction of the Tracheae, 
afsisted by the natural absorption of the sap- 
vefsels themselves. They supposed the sap 
to be rarefied to the degree of a fine vapour, 
in which state it mounted upward to the ex- 
treme parts of the plant, where meeting with 
the external air; it became condensed into 
a liquor, and in that form returned to the root 
by the venal system, between the wood and 
bark. Dr. Hales, in the most satisfactory 
manner, set aside this doctrine, and sub- 
stituted another in its place, more consonant 
to reason and experiment. 

It is something remarkable that Dr. Hervey 
should have been the first who established the 
circulation of the blood, in opposition to most 
of the anatomists in Europe ; and that Dr. 


Hales should have clearly disproved the c{r\ 
culation of the sap, contrary to the opinion of 
almost every naturalist of his time. 

In order that we may have a distinct view 
of the motion of the Sap, it will be necefsary 
to reflect, that the root, stem, branches, and 
leaves are constructed in the same manner. — 
Sallows, willows, vines, and most shrubs, will 
grow in an inverted state, with their tops 
downward in the earth. Dr. Bradley de- 
scribes the manner of inverting a young 
cherry-tree, the roots of which will put forth 
leaves, and the branches become roots. — . 
Hence it is obvious that the nutritive matter 
may be conveyed as well by the leaves as the 
roots, their vascular structure being the very 

We have now settled the anatomical struc- 
ture of a plant. Upon it depends much of 
what we know of the vegetable economy.—- 
Tlie motion of the sap comes next to be 

During the heat of a summer's day, all 
plants perspire freely from the pores of their 
leaves and b^rk. At that time the juices 


are highly rarefied. The diameters of the 
Trachese, or air-vefsels, are enlarged, so as to 
prefs upon and straiten the vefsels that carry 
the sap. In consequence of which their juices, 
not being able to escape by the roots, arc 
prefsed upward, where there is the least resist- 
ance, and perspire off the excrementitious parts 
by the leaves and top-branches, in the form of 
vapour. When the, solar heat declines, the 
Trachea: are contracted. The sap-vefsels are 
enlarged, and the sap sinks down in the man- 
ner of the spirits of a thermometer. In con- 
sequence of this change, the capillary vefsels 
of the leaves and top-branches become empty. 
Being surrounded with the humid vapours of 
the evening, they fill themselves from the 
known laws of attraction, and send down the 
new-acquired juices to be mixed with those 
that are more elaborated. 

As soon as the sun has altered the tempe- 
rature of the air, the Trachea: become again 
distended, and the sap-vefsels are straitned. 
The same cause always produces the same 
eftect ; and this alternate ascent and descent, 
through the same system of vefsels, continues 
as long as the plant survives. 

Jhc iregular motion of the stem and 


branches, is another cause that contributes to 
the ascent of the sap. Every time that these 
parts are acted upon by the air, they are made 
to afsume a variety of angles, whereby the sap- 
vefsels are suddenly straitned. The contained 
juices consequently receive reiterated im- 
pulses, similar to what happens to the blood of 
animals from the contraction of the heart. 
This observation may afsist us in investigating 
the vegetable economy, so far as it regards 
the management of fruit-trees, and probably 
may be extended throughout the whole system 
of gardening, planting, and farming. 

It may be objected, that trees fixed to the 
wall do, notwithstanding, carry their sap to the 
extreme branches; but it should be considered 
that the warmth of their situation, afsisted by 
the horizontal direction of their branches, is 
fully fufficient to propel the sap, without the 
undulatory motion that I have mentioned. 

I beg leave to observe, that these observa- 
tions are only intended to convey a general 
idea of the motion of the sap. It varies ac- 
cording to the temperature of the weather. 
The air is seldom one moment alike. The 
sap must therefore sometimes move quick. 


^t)metimes slow. It may rise and fall many 
(times in a day. Sudden heats push it upward, 
eudden cokls make it fall. Thus the juices 
are blended, and the secretions forwarded. 

The manner that the nutritive juices of the 
earth and atmosphere are conveyed into the 
«ap-vefsels, remains to be described. And 
this makes a necefsary part of our present ar- 
gument, as it may afsist us in finding out, and 
.explaining, the diseases of plants from the va- 
riations of .the weathej. 

The outer bark whicli covers every external 
part of a vegetable, as well below as above the 
surface, is full of perspiratory or absorbent 
iioles. The vefsels^of this bark being endowed 
with the powerinherenit in capillary tubes,draw 
«p the moisture that is applied to their sur- 
face. From them it is committed to the ves- 
-sels of the inner bark. After receiving some 
degree of melioration, the sap is delivered to 
the blea. From the blea, it pafses, by anasto- 
mosing canals,, to the vascular series. From 
thence to the vwod, or flesh, where it receives 
its last concoction. 

The nutritive particles being separated by 
Volinne /. G 


the mechanism of these numerous canajs, are 
applied towards the fructification and increase 
of the plant ; while the watery and excre- 
mentitious parts are carried expeditiously to 
the leaves, where they are perspired off in the 
form of vapour. It is evident, however, that, 
as water contains but few particles that are 
fit for nourishment, it was necefsary that plants 
should have the power of imbibing a large 
portion of that fluid. For which reason the 
sun-flower, considered bulk for bulk, takes in 
seventeen times more nourishment than a man, 
and consequently perspires more. 

During the continuance of dry north-east 
winds, the leaves of corn are observed to grow 
3'ellow, and the early-set fruit frequently falls 
off". This is owing to the want of moisture in 
the atmosphere to fill the vefsels of the leaves 
and top-branches, whereby the fruit is depri- 
ved of nourishment Under such circumstan- 
ces, it is probable that wall-fruit may be pre 
served by prudently watering the leaves and 
top-branches during the evening. It is, how- 
ever, a singular happinefs that the air is at no 
time perfectly free from moisture. Bring a 
bottle of cold water into the warmest room, 
and its surface will immediately be covered 


with a thlek dew. An air absolutely dry, 
would, in a few days, annihilate the vegetable 


.iC . h> .iOiiloq yi'sr' id In;:. : ::, ..j -. 

Thi^ ^iris jxiftly said' to cona:ain''the life of 
vegetables, as well as animals; It is a com- 
prefsible and elastic fiuidj surrounding the face 
of ■'Jhe globe, and reaching^ to a considerable 
height above it. Vegetables do not grow in 
vacuo, and animals die when deprived of air. 
It has two states 5 being either elastic or fixed. 
Dr. Hales observes, that, in its elastic and 
active state, it conduces to the invigorating 
the juices of vegetables j and, in its fixed and 
inert state, gives union, weight, and firmnefs 
to all natural bodies. By his experiments we 
are informed, that fixed air constitutes near one 
third part of the solid contents of the heart of 
oak. It is found to bear the same proportion 
in pease, beans, and other vegetable substan- 
ces. Heat and fermentation render it elastic. 
It is again capable ot being absorbed and 
fixed. Was the whole air of the universe 
brought at once into an elastic and repulsive 
state, everv thing would suffer a sudden dis- 
solution. Was it entirely fixed, then all things 
would be reduced to an inert lump. Almighty 
Providence has provided against these ex- 



tremes, and ia the most woo4erful manner 
preserves the balance ! 

Air is to be found in every portion of earth ; 
and as it always contains a solution of the vo- 
latile parts of animal and vegetable substances, 
.>ve should be careful to keep our stiff soils as 
open as pofsible to its influence. It pafses, 
both in its active and fixed state, into the ab- 
sorbent vefsels of the root, and, mixing with 
the juices of the plant, circulates through every 
part. Dr. Hales, in his statical experiments 
upon the vine, discovered it ascending with 
the sap in the bleeding season. 

Having demonstrated that the motion of 
the sap depends upon the influence of the air, 
and the power of ab^orption common to all ca- 
pillary tubes, it naturally follows, that it cannot 
remain one moment at rest. The gradations 
from heat to cold, and vice versa^ are infinite, 
and sometimes desultory : So must the motion 
of the sap. From the coinbinations of the 
nutritive particles, a num^'^r of different fluids 
are prepared in the same plant. Matter is the 
$ane in allj but the modificntion of it makes 
things sweet or sour, acrid or mild. 

The universal juice of a plant is a limpid 


subacid liquor, which flows plentifully from a 
wound made in a tree when the sap is rising. 
The birch and the vihe yield it in great abun- 
dance. This liquor, as it moves through the 
innumerable small vefsels, becomes more and 
more concocted, and is the general mafs from 
which all the juices are derived. It may be: 
called the blood of the plant. By a certain 
modification it produces high-flavoured oils, 
gums, sugar, Wax, turpentine, and even the 
constituent parts of the plant itself. How this 
transmutation is performed, remains, and per- 
haps ever will remain, unknown. 

I hope it will not be objected to me, that 
in this efsay I have been too minute. In the 
history of nature we cannot be too particular: 
Every part of it demands our most serious at- 
tention j and every part of it repays us for the 
labour we bestow. The wings of the butterfly 
are painted by the same Almighty hand that 
made the sun. The meanest vegetable, and 
the most finished animal, are equally the care 
of Providence. We constantly view the wis- 
dom of God in his works ; and yet, as the wise 
man observes, " hardly do we guefs aright at 
*' the things that are upon the earth, and with 
" labour do we find the things that are before 
« us." 



dn a Mn'' Metlwd of culiivatiyig weak Arable Lands. 

Various are the rrrell^ocTs' recommended by 
husbandmen for- the cropping of their Lands. 
Some employ themselves rationally in suiting 
the crops i?0'ttie-natJure;of the soil, while others 
follow thd irainemorial custom of the village. 
Farmers, in general, agree in this, that a fallow 
is necefsary ; but they differ as to the time of 
its rotation. In the scheme of Agriculture 
recommended by Virgil, there is no change 
of species. Wheat and fallow succeed each 
other. Collumella observes the same thing. 
This seems to have been the foundation of the 
drill and horse-hoeing husbandry ; a scheme 
pursued with indefatigable diligence by Mr. 
Tull ; but it requires so much nicety and at- 
tention, that I apprehend it never will be 
brought into general uf?e. The principles, 
however, upon which it is founded ought to 
be understood by every farmer, as they will' 
enable hiiil' to reason properly upon some of 
the most interesting operations of Agriculture, 
and -lead hini insensiblv toneatnefs in the ma- 



nagemcnt of his farm. I do not mean that he 
should adopt the theory of Mr. Tull. I would 
have him only reason upon his practice in re- 
gard to the destruction of weeds, and the 
loosening of the soil. 

Reflecting, some years ago. Upon the old 
and new husbandry, I thought that a system 
might be formed of a mixed nature, that would 
comprehend the advantages of both, without 
the inconveniences of either. I was the more 
desirous of reducing my reasoning into prac- 
tice, as the plan seemed well adapted to the 
cultivation of weak arable lands that lie remote 
from manure. 

I am sensible that, by the introduction of 
turnips and artificial grafses, these weak lands 
may be cultivated in the most profitable man- 
ner ; but in wide-extended countries without 
a hedge, these improvements cannot easily be 

It will be almost unnecefsary to observe, 
that arable lands have ever been restored by 
means of a fallow, which the judicious hus- 
bandman makes more or lefs frequent in pro- 
portion to the poverty of the soil. Upon ihe 


high Wolds ill Yorkshire, where the soil" iJ 
poor and thin, oats and barley are principally 
cultivated. The usual husbandry in open 
field-land is one crop and a fallow j and irt 
some places, where there is a greater poverty 
of soil, they are content with a single crop,, 
and then let the land rest for some years tcr re- 
cover itself. 

These appear unsatisfactory riiodes of culti- 
vation; A few straggling sheep, that browse 
upon the fallows, cannot restore to the earth 
what the weeds devour. Weeds and corn 
live upon the same food. To protect the lat- 
ter, we must destroy the former. Wherever 
abundance of weeds are observed upon the 
fallows, we may pronounce the husbandry of 
the district to be feeble, the husbandman poor, 
and the rents low. To remedy the defective 
cultivation of weak arable lands, I have adop- 
ted the following system. My practice fully 
justifies the recommendation. 

Instead of having the lands laid out in broad 
ridgesj I order them to be made only nine feet 
wide. When the seed-time comes, I sow every 
other land broad-cast, and harrow in the grain 
in the usual manner, llie intermediate fpaces, 


which I call the fallow lands, are ploughed two 
or three times, at proper seasons, by a light 
plough drawn byone horse, in order to make a 
clean fallow for the succeeding crop. Upon 
these lands the seed is sown as before. The 
stubble in turn becomes the fallow, and is 
treated accordingly. In this alternate way I 
nlanage weak arable lands, and I have the 
satisfaction to find that very little manure is 
required, which is a most agreeable circum- 
stance, as such lands are generally remote from 
a large town. I dare venture to say, that the 
same field, managed in this alternate way for 
a few years, will be found to produce one 
third part more profit, than when cultivated in 
the usual manner. 

Farmers thdt have large tracts of weak ara- 
ble land, and live remote from dung, will find 
this mode both profitable and easy of appli- 
cation* I do hot recommend it where the 
lands are deep and rich — or within a reason- 
able distance of manure. 

To account for the advantages of this cul- 
ture, we need only reflect that vegetables, no 
more than animals, can subsist long in a state 
of health without, the free enjoyment of air. 



In a large ^dd, when the weather Is caJm^ 
the air remains in a state of stagnation, where- 
by the perspiration of the plants is pennitfced 
to continue too long upon the ears of corn. 
Hence many inconveniences arise to the crop. 
On the contrary, in the alternate husbandry, 
the air is constantly in motion. Tlie interme- 
diate fallows serve as funnels t6 carry it off, 
and, along with it, all supeiHuous? moisture. . 

In consequence of this freedom of air, up6n 
which I lay a great strefs, the ears of corn are 
always observed to be well fed, and the stalks 
firm and strong. When by severe weather the 
corn happens to be lodged, it is thrown upon 
a clean fallow, where it has no chance of being 
bound down by weeds. It is consequently 
sooner raised by the current. of air which is 
constantly pafsing along the fallows. 

It is, however, the particular happinefs of 
this method of cultivation, that the corn is 
seldom laid, even in the most stormy weathei'.; 

Turnips, or, when the soil is deep and sandy, 
a few carrots or potatoes^ mav be placed upon- 
the intermediate lands : but 1 have always 
found it best to keep them as perfect fallows. 


Every thing that grows takes something from 
the soil ; and as our land is supposed to be 
weak, and not supported with much manure, 
we ought not to suffer the smallest vegetable 
to take root upon it. 

If the farmer chooses he may vary his crops ; 
but I am of opinion, and I. speak from some 
experience, that the same grain may be culti- 
vated, as long as he pleases, upon lands mana- 
ged in the manner that I have recommended. 
In consequence of this happy disposition of the 
soil, every kind of grain may be suited to the 
land most proper for it. I do not confine the 
alternate husbandry to oats, barley, and rye. 
I have tried it upon good wheat land ; and 
if the farmer attends to his businefs, he will 
find his wheat crops greatly to exceed his ex- 
pectations. In the cultivation of this grain the 
utmost attention must be paid to the cleannefi* 
of the fallow lands. For want of proper csre 
in that particular, I was once very unsuccefsful 
ia an experiment of two acres. 

Tn October 1759 I began an extensive trial 
with wheat upon good land, and as I was de- 
sirous of making two experiments at the same 
time, I manured the sown lands with 'the oil-' 
compost, at the rate of 9s, per acre, which/ 


though an annual charge, may be considered 
as a trifling sum. At present (February) the 
field looks well, and promises a plentiful crop. 
I shall minutely attend to every particular, 
that I may be able to communicate the expe- 
riment upon a future occasion. 

I acknowledge that many of the advantages 
of this culture are in common with the drill 
husbandry ; but I flatter myself that there are 
others which that ingenious system does not 

I know it will be objected, that in this man- 
ner the fallows will be lost to the sheep during 
the summer months. I answer, so much the 
better. If pofsible, the fallows should not be 
permitted to bear a single leaf. The farmer 
ought to find other ways to support his sheep j 
and, if he is an intelligent man, he will readily 
do it. It is an odd kind of husbandry, when, 
the fields bear corn one year for the owner, 
and the next, weeds for his sheep. 

> When first I practised this new culture, I 
was apprehensive that the pigeons and crows 
would prove my greatest enemies, by settling 
upon the fallow lands, and pulling down the 
ears of corn. I have now the pleasure to afsure 


the public, that, after some years experience, 
I find my lands no more liable to those depre- 
dations than the neighbouring ones. 

I need not observe that, by this system of 
husbandry, the lands are rendered open and 
light In consequence of which abundance of 
nourishment will be conveyed into the body of 
the soil, instead of being left upon the surface, 
to be exhaled by the sun, or swept off by the 
winds. But as the best things sometimes bring 
inconveniences with them, it will be necefsary 
to correct this loosenefs of the soil by rolling 
the lands at proper seasons. For this the hus- 
bandman needs no directions. 

I have the satisfaction to find that inclosures 
are begun upon the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire 
Wolds; in consequence of which, a greater 
quantity of corn will be produced for a few 
years than formerly. To such gentlemen as 
have estates in those counties, or in similar 
ones, I beg leave to recommend the alternate 
husbandry. I dare venture to say, that, in 
point of profit and convenience, it will be found 
greatly superior to the drill husbandry. The 
implements used are those of the country, and 
the mode of cultivation is within the capacity 
of the meanest ploughman. 



OntheRobinia, or^ Fuhe Acacia; cowmonlj/ called the 
Locust Tree, 

This tree Is a native of North America. Its 
branches are armed with strong crooked 
thorns, and garnished with winged leaves, com- 
posed of eight or ten pair of oval lobes, ter- 
minated by an odd one. They are of a bright 
green, and sit close to the midrib. The flowers 
come out from the; sides of the branches in 
pretty long bunches, hanging downward like 
those of the Laburnum, each flower standing 
on a slender foot-stalk : These are of the But^ 
terfly, or Pea-blofsom kind j are white, and 
smell very sweet. They appear in June, and 
when the trees are full of flowers, they make 
a fine appearance ; but they are of short du- 
ration, seldom continuing more than a week 
in beauty. After the flowers fade, the ger- 
men becomes an oblong comprefsed pod, 
which in warm seasons comes to perfection 
in England ; these ripen late in autumn. 

The leaver come out late in the spring, and 


fall off learly in the autumn, which renders 
this, tree lefs, valuable than it would otherwise 

The False' Acacia is best propiigated by 
seeds, which should be sown in abed of light 
earth about the latter lend of March, or the be- 
ginning of >, April ; and if the bed has a wann 
exposure, the plants- will appear in six weeks, 
requiring no other care than keeping them 
clear from weeds. In this bed the plants 
should remain till the following spring, when 
they should be transplanted into the nursery 
about the end of March, placing them in rows 
at three feet distance, and a foot and a half 
asunder in. the rows. In this nursery they 
should remain two years, by which time they 
will be of size for transplanting into the places 
where they are designed to grow. As these 
trees, when they stand long unremoved,"send 
forth long tough roots, it will be advisable to 
cut them off when they are transplanted. This 
operation, however, sometimes occasions theic 

These trees will grow well almost upon any 
soil, but they prefer a light sandy ground, in 
which they have been known to shoot six feet 


in one year. WhUe the trees are young, they 
Hiake a fine appearance, being well furnished 
with leaves ; but when old, they are rather 
unsightly, from the branches being frequently 
broken by high winds, especially when they 
happen to stand in an exposed situation. Ii> 
x\merica, this tree is called the Locust Tree. 
My excellent friend Joseph Harrison, Esq. of 
Bawtry, has fkvoured me with the following 
observations, in a letter dated July 25, 1782. 

" The first experiment that I know of, re- 
specting the application of the timber of the 
Locust Tree, to any purposes in ship-building, 
was in Virginia, where I resided some time 
about the year 1733 : And, there, happening 
to be acquainted with an ingenious ship-wright, 
that had been sent over by some merchants of 
Liverpool, to build two large ships, I had fre- 
quent conversations with him, respecting the 
qualities of the several principal timber-trees 
of that country. Being a person of observa- 
tion, he had made many useful remarks on that 
subject ; which the nature of his employment 
afforded many opportunities of doing with ad- 
vantage. He reckoned the Oaks, Elms, 
Ashes, and many other timber-trees common 
to both countries, much inferior to the same 


feorts in England : But frequently spoke of the 
Locust tree, as of extraordinary qualities both 
in strength and duration * ; and used often 
to say, if a sufficient quantity could be had, it 
would be the best timber he had ever met with 
for building of ships. After he had completed 
his engagements with his employers at Liver- 
pool, he set a small vefsel on the stocks for 
himself; but unluckily, not having a sufficient 
quantity of iron for the purpose, and none 
being to be had at that time in the country, he 
was obliged to put a stop to the work, till he 
bethought himself of the following succeda- 
neum. He had formerly (as hinted above) ob- 
served the extraordinary strength and firmnefs 
bf the Locust-tree, and on this occasion took 
it into his head that Trenails f of that timber 

"^Duration. This property has been well ascertained! 
by some pieces of Locust-tree, still continuing firm and 
sound in some old houses in New England, that were built 
when the country was first settled. 

fTRENAiLs, or Tree-Nails, are wooden pins that 
fasten the planks to the ribs or timbers ;— and to prevent 
drawing, or the planks starting, they are wedged at both 
ends, inside and out, so that the strength of a ship depetids 
much on the goodnefsof the Trenails j and if they are not 
made of wood that is both hard and tough, they will not 
endure driving so tight as to bear the strain that lies upon 

Volume I jj 


might be substituted for Iron Bolts * in many 
places where least liable to wrench, or twist, 
as in fastening the floor-timbers to the keel, 
and the knees to the eods of the beams, which 
two articles take up a large proportion of the 
iron used in a ship, purposing, when he arri- 
ved in England, to bore out the Locust Tre- 
nails, and drive iron bolts in their stead. When 
he first informed me of this scheme, I rrfust 
own I thought the experiment very hazardous : 
However, as necefsity has no law, he put it in 
practice. The ship was built, in that manner, 
loaded, and sailed for Liverpool, where she ar- 
rived safe ; and though they met with some 
blowing weather on the pafsage, she never 
made so much water, but that one pump could 
easily keep her free. She returned ba6k tt> 
Virginia the next year, when I had an oppor- 
tunity of being informed by the burldcr hiin- 
self (who was then captain of her) of what had 
"been the fesiiTt of his project : He said, that 

them ; for, in fact, it is the Trenails that hold together the 
several, pieces ot which a ship is composed. 

V,* Bolts, are round iron pins, used to fasten the floor- 
timbers to the keel, and the beams that support the decks 
to the sides of the ship, and on all other occasions where 
Trenails are not strong enough to boar the strain that is 
tu be supported. 


during the pafsage, especially in blowing wea- 
ther, he was very attentive in examining the 
Water-ways*, as, at that place, weak ships are 
most liable to work, and strain, but that he 
could not perceive any thing more than is 
usual in other vefsels. When unloaded, she 
was hauled a-shore upon the bank, in order to 
be searched both outside and inside ; when, on 
the strictest examination, it was found that 
the Locust Trenails, that had been substituted 
instead of Iron Bolts, seemed (to all appear- 
ance) to have effectually answered the purpose 
intended ; however, it was thought prudent to 
take several of them out, and put in Iron Bolts 
in their room : And this operation afforded 
another proof of their extraordinary strength 
and firmnefs ; as they endured to be backed f 

*The Waterway is that part of a ship's deck that is 
next to the sides of the ship ; this seam, or joint, is very 
difficult to keep tight, and in weak vefsels will open and 
shut in carrying sail when it blows hard. 

f Backing out a Bolt, or Trenail, is driving it out by 
means of a tool called a Set-bolt, which is an Iron Punch, 
something smaller than the Bolt, or Trenail, to be taken 
out, against which it is driven, with a blacksmith's heavy 
sledge or hammer : But Oak Trenails, except such as are 
very hard and sound, will seldom bear this operation : in 
which case, they are obliged to bore them out with an 



out with a Set-bolt, just as well as though they 
had been Iron ; whereas Oak Trenails are 
usually bored out with an auger. The next 
voyage the ship made, was to the West Indies, 
where the Captain died, and with him ended 
(for the present) any further prosecution of this 
matter : For though the succefs of the above 
experiment was known to many, yet (as is fre- 
quently the case with new difcoveries) none, 
that I ever heard of, made any. use of Locust 
Trenails in ship-building, till many years after; 
though on the goodnefs of that article greatly 
depends the strength and durablenefs of a ship. 
I frequently recommended it, when opportu- 
nities offered, but all to no purpose, till about 
twenty years ago, when I was settled in trade 
at Rhode-Island, I persuaded some ship- 
builders to try the experiment j but notwith- 
standing all my endeavours, the use of Locust 
Trenails still continued to be little practised or 
known, till it happened to be adopted by a 
builder of some eminence at New York, and 
of late years has been introduced into general 
use there, and in some parts of New England : 
But as yet the use of the Locust-tree, in ship- 
building, is confined to the article of Trenails, 
on account of its scarcity ; for, was it near as 
plentjful as Oak, it would be a'pplied to more 


purposes, such as knees *, floor-timbers f, foot- 
hooks J, &c. bemg much superior to it, both 
as to strength and duration ; and from its 
spreading into branx:hes, affords full as large a 
proportion of crooks, or compafs-timber, as the 

" The growth of the Locust-tree has of late 
been much encouraged in North America : 
And here, in England, several Gentlemen have 
propagated great quantities of it, particularly 
Sir George Saviie, who has many thousands 
now growing in his plantations at Rufford ; 
so that in the next generation, it is probable 
there may be sufficient for the article of Tre- 
nails, which alone would be a considerable 
improvement in the building of ships. At 
present, the choicest pieces only of the very 

*KvEES, are those crooked pieces, that, by means of 
Iron Bults, fasten the ends of the beams to the sides of the 

f Fi.ooR-TiMBERs, are those ribs or timbers that lie 
-acrols the keel, and are boiled into it. 

J Foot Hooks, are those circular ribs or timbers that 
form the body of the ship from the fl )()r to the top timbers : 
And all pieces of timber that are not straight, are called 
crooks or compafs-tunber. 



best Oak Timber are applied to that purpose; 
and as the Oaks of Sufsex are generally rec- 
koned the best in England, most ship-wrights 
(even those in the north) have their Trenails 
from thence : And the demand for them is so 
great, that Trenail-making is there become a 
considerable manufacture. 

" The Locust-tree is not only valuable on 
account of the excellence of its timber, but its 
leaves also are useful, and afford wholesome 
food for cattle *. I knew a Gentleman in 
New England that sowed several acres for that 
purpose, which proved a good summer pasture 
for cows ; it is excellent in that country^ where 
the grafs is very apt to fail, from being burnt 
up by the summer droughts. — Hogs are eX' 
tremely fond of it, and horses seem to like it. 

" The method of propagating the Locust- 
tree in New England, is by seeds, suckers, or 
sets, as Willows are here ; but the first method 
is the best, as those plants raised from seeds 
are found to thrive better and produce larger 

^ There is a difsertation upon this property of the Acacia 
in ©ne of the foreign Literary Journals : I think it. is the 
Memoirs of the Imperial Academy at Vienna. 


trees than the others. The seeds arc first sown 
in a nurser}', and then planted out young into 
the places where they are to remain. 

" Jonathan Acklom, Esq. of Wiseton, has 
now in his garden a Locust-tree, which, at 
three feet from the ground, is four feet ten 
inches in circumference, and sixty feet high : 
Also another of nearly the same height, but not 
so thick ; and in his nursery are several young 
plants from the seeds of these trees. They 
are both, at this time, [July 1782] full of 
flowers, and likely to produce many seeds, if 
the remainder of the summer prove favourable. 
Tliey were raised from seeds brought from 
North Carolina in 1742, so are now just forty 
years old," 




On a ners Species of Grain called Siberian or Halidayi 

jL he surface of the earth is clothed with ^ 
variety of grafses. Such as are intended for 
the use of cattle are spontaneous in their 
growth. Such as are intended for man require 
culture and attention. The grafses of the field 
yield a never-failing verdure. They shoot early 
in the spring, and continue to send forth radi- 
cal leaves, which are daily cropped without 
injuring the plants. Animals seldom destroy 
the flowering sterns. A variety of grafs-seeds 
are consequently sown upon our meadows and 
pastures by the hand of Providence. This 
dislike in animals to brouze upon the straw 
that bears the seed, is particularly favourable: 
to the annual grafses, and gives an useful hint 
to the intelligent husbandman, not to keep his 
grafs-lands too long under the scythe. 

Wheat, oats, barley, and rye are grafses * 

* Grafses are one of the seven natural families, into 
which all vegetables are distributed by Linnseus. They 


for the use of man. These vegetables are 
found in almost every climate. Man is a ci- 
tizen of the world, and indulgent heaven sup- 
plies him with food wherever he goes. The 
earth produces a variety of grains. Different 
countries support some kinds more luxuriantly 
than others. In the northern climates we find 
plenty of oats and barley. The more southern 
latitudes are particularly favourable to wheat. 
Could we look back into the remote annals of 
time, we should discover that few countries 
were originally blefsed with the variety of 
grains and fruits which they at present enjoy. 
Crabs, sloes, and bramble-berries are the natu- 
ral fruits of this island ; and there was a time 
when wheat was hardly known. Oats, barley, 
and rye, fed the vafsal and his lord. 

In consequence of a liberal communication 
with foreigners, we have daily increased the 
number of vegetable productions, and have, 

are defined to be plants which have very simple leaves, a 
jointed stem, a husky Calix, termed Gluma, and a single 
seed. This description includes the several sorts of corn 
as well as grafses. In Tournefort they constitute a part 
of the fifteenth clafs, termed Apetali ; and in the Sexual 
System of Linnaeus they are mostly contained in the second 
grder of the third clafs, termed Triandria Digynia. 


as it were, naturalized them to our climate, 
I shall in this efsay give an account of a new 
species of barley lately brought into this king- 
dom. As it has been made known to us by 
the care and attention of Mr. Haliday, I have 
called it by his name, as an honour due to him. 
Mr. Haliday, in the most correct and circum- 
stantial manner, communicated his sentiments 
upon this new species, in a letter to my inge- 
nious friend T. B. Bailey, Esq. of Hope, near 
Manchester, by whom I am favoured with the 
following extract. 

— — « On the 25th of May, 1767, I re- 

ceived about a moderate wine-glafsful of this 
grain, from a Member of the Society of Arts, 
&c. at London, with this information, that a 
foreign nobleman had presented that Society 
with about a pint of it, and that it came from 
Siberia. Not having seen Pontoppidan's ac- 
count of the Thor-barlei/, or Heaven'' s com, I 
was doubtful whether it was the product of a 
cold or Warm climate. The amazing extent of 
Siberia, and the low latitude of its southern 
bounds, created this uncertainty. I was from 
hence induced to divide my small quantity with 
a neighbouring gentleman, who had in his gar- 
den the advantage of glafses and fire. But the 


result of his trials showed that it was a native 
of a cold rather than a warm climate. In the 
morning of the 26th, I sowed the other half, in 
drills, in a south border of my garden, each 
grain from four to five inches asunder. The 
rows were carefully weeded, hoed, and some- 
times watered ; but, proving rank, I was 
obliged to support them with stakes and lines. 
By the latterend of August some few ears were 
ripened, which I snipped off. I continued 
this practice, morning and evening, until the 
first week in October, and laid the ears by in 
jinen bags. 

" in April, 1768, 1 rubbed out by hand the 
last year's crop, and was happy in finding the 
quantity was near a quart, equal, if not supe- 
rior, in quality to the original seed. Having 
prepared all the south borders in the garden, 
and part of a last year's potatoe butt in a field 
adjoining, I sowed the whole in drills, as before, 
in the first week in May. The crops were 
kept clean and hoed. AVhat grew in the gar- 
den was snipped off as it ripened, and the butt 
was reaped in the common way on the 28th 
of August. The whole was hung up in sacks 
until the beginning of April, 1769, when it 
was thrashed out, aod produced near a bushel. 


On rtie 1 9th and 20tli, having prepared about 
sn acre, of seven yards, pretty fine, I drew 
drills with a plough about ten inches apart, 
then a space of three feet, and so on. The 
grain was sown by hand, and the drills were 
smoothea with garden rakes. To keep the 
corn from falling, though, as it happened, 
there was no need, large beans, were dibbled 
in the middle of the three-feet spaces. In 
June, the whole was carefully hand-hoed, and 
on the i4th and 15th of August was reaped.. 
The calculation 1 made of the produce from 
the thraves, proved just about 36 bushels pf 
clean corn. 

" Having now got a stock, on which I could 
afford to make experiments of its utility in the 
grand points of bread and beer, I had two 
bushels of 35 quarts, weighing 132 lb. sent to 
a country mill. When ground, it yielded 80 lb. 
of fine flour, equal to London seconds, 40 lb. 
of a coarser sort, and about 12 lb. of bran, su^ 
perior to wheat bran. The best flour made 
excellent bread, sufficiently light, and so re- 
tentive of moisture, as to be as good at twelve 
or fourteen days after baking, as wheaten 
bread on the fourth day. But, to give it the 
fairest trial, I had 12 lb. of the barley, and 


12 lb. of wheat flour, equally fine, kneaded 
with some yeast, and baked in the same oven. 
The wheaten loaf weighed 15 lb, and the bar- 
ley 18 lb. 

" These trials sufficiently established its ex- 
cellence as a bread-corn. The foregoing year 
had proved its fecundity. To find out its 
quality for ale, I readily accepted the offer 
made me by a Geritleman of Liverpool, of 
equal (kill and attention, and sent him two 
bushels to be malted. He obligingly took the 
trouble of this small quantity, and made me 
happy in the account he gave me of its work- 

" In the latter end of January, it was brew- 
ed into a half-barrel of ale, and another of 
small beer. The latter was used at a month 
old, and proved good. The ale was tapt on 
the 27th of May, and proved of a fine colour, 
flavour, and body*. 

" You have now all the particulars of my 

*Dr. Lochster, in his Difsertation de Medlcamentis 
Norwegiae, extols the liquor made of it both as palatable 
and wholesome. " Palmam, (says he) quoque reliquis praeri- 
pitdecoctum hordei ccelestis, vulgoHimmelbyg, grato tarn 
sapore quam efFectu se coramendans." 


three years experience of this excellent grain. 
If you think the information can be of service 
to your farming acquaintance, you are at liber-f 
ty to use it as you please, hoping, however, 
that my succefs will apologize for my enthu- 
siasm in its favour. The idea I entertain of its 
superior utility to any other spring-corn, has 
induced me to make it as universally known 
as the narrow circle of my acquaintance would 
permit. I thank you for afsisting my views, 
and am in hopes that Mr. Young will find oc- 
casion to celebrate its virtues from a more 
skilful, though not a more attentive cultiva- 

" On the 30th of April, I laid down, in the 
broadcast way, two large acres, of eight yards, 
with six bushels and a half of this barley, white 
clover, and hay-seeds, and have sown four 
other bushels in a field of poor natural soil. 
Both fields look well, I am also happy in 
knowing that about 20 bushels of my last year's 
crop are now under skilful culture in the se- 
veral counties of Kent, Surry, Efsex, Middle- 
sex, Hereford, Stafford, Chester, Derby, York, 
Duiham, and many parts of this County ; in 
two or three counties in Wales, six or seven 
in Ireland, and s-ome in Scotland ^ from all 


wliich I am filled with the hopes of its soon 
becoming as universally esteemed as known." 


On Potatoes. 

^/ KEn first the Eotatoe was brought into 
England, it was supposed to pofsefs some 
noxious qualities j but the experience of many- 
years has proved it to be a wholesome and 
nourishing root. 

Every kind of plant delights in a particular 
soil. The potatoe thrives best in a light loam. 
Its roots being tuberous, they could not swell 
in a stiff clay. 

In a former efsay, I recommended a strict 
attention to the shape of the roots of such 
plants as were the objects of field-husbandry. 
That anatomical investigation will afsist us in 
the rational cultivation of all kinds of veget- 
ables. The roots of oats are strong and pierc- 
ing.; they are therefore formed by nature to 
seek their pafsage through land but imper- 
fectly tilled, which accounts for the excellent 


crops of that grain produced upon a single 
ploughing. The roots of wheat and barley- 
are, on the contrary, tender and fibrous : they 
consequently require a finer tilth. Beans are 
tap-rooted. Afsisted by their wedge-like form, 
they pierce through the toughest soils. 

I need not run through all the plants of the 
field, to prove that each has a choice of soil. 
In this the animal and vegetable worlds per- 
fectly agree, and a small degre^l of reflection 
will enable us to trace the affinity. 

The potatoe may be considered as a certain 
relief to the poor against a deficiency of the 
corn harvest : for that reason it requires our 
most serious attention. Vanous are the me- 
thods recommended for its cultivation. Prac* 
tical books of husbandry circumstantially re- 
late them. I therefore judge a regular detail 
unnecefsary in this place. 

As this most useful root delights in a loose 
soil and a great deal of sun, we should 
anxiously endeavour to obtain these ends in all 
the modes of cultivation. When raised in hil- 
locks the earth lies light upon the spreading 
roots, and the sun has free accefs to the crown 


of the hills by the falling down of the haulm 
into the surrounding trench. By the frequent 
earthings that are required in this manner of 
culture, the soil is kept clear of weeds, and 
the whole field is reduced into the form of a 
garden. This is a very profitable method of 
cultivation, and the expense attending it is not 
so considerable as might at first be imagined. 
Two men and a boy will plant an acre iri four 
days, the expense of which must be estimated 
according to the rate of labour in the country^ 
Two men will give the second and last earth- 
ing in three days. I usually place the hills in 
the quincunx form, measuring four feet from 
centre to centre. Into each hill I put five 
cuttings, placing one in the middle, and the 
others round it. Excellent crops may be ob- 
tained by putting one large potatoe into the 
centre of each hill. When the land is fresh, 
and the businefs has been well attended to^ 
the cultivator may expect near a peck of 
potatoes in each hillock 5 which is a larger 
produce than can be obtained by any other 

It will here be necefsary to observe, that 
the spade, where hands can be procured, is 
greatly preferable to tlie plough; but, in 

Volume L I 


countries where they are scarce, the plough is 
a good instrument, provided the farmer takes 
care to allow a sufficient distance between the 
rows, in order to destroy the weeds, and throw 
fresh mould up to the plants. This distance 
should not be lefs than three feet, especially 
in shallow soils. 

It is customary to put the manure over the 
sets, but the practice is injudicious. By 
attending to the manner that the potatoe 
grows above and below ground, we may be 
enabled to form very correct rules of culti- 

As soon as the potatoe puts forth its stalk, 
in order to rise to the surface, it sends out 
several strong roots which run obliquely 
downward, and may be called the feeding 
roots. They do not produce fruit. When 
the manure is placed under the sets, the 
feeders pierce into it, and extract the oily and 
mucilaginous particles. The potatoe creeps 
under-ground, and^, in proportion to the cover- 
ing of earth, the stalk within the ground be- 
comes longer or shorter. From this stalk 
lateral shoots are detached, which are bearers. 
These bearers are, in fact, branches within 


ground. They go off from the descending 
stalk in the same manner and distance as the 
branches do from the ascending one. Had 
they appeared upon the surface, they would 
have brought forth leaves, flowers, and apples, 
but being confined they produce potatoes. 

In the sixth efsay, I have demonstrated that 
all the parts of a plant are the same ; the only 
difference lies in the shape. Trees may be 
planted with their roots in the air, and their 
branches in the earth. In that state they 
will live and grow. A fibrous root that has 
escaped through the earth, becomes a tree 
perfect in all its parts. The tops of potatoes, 
cut off in June and planted in the earth, will 
take root, and produce a good crop. I have 
observed that the bearing shoots go off from 
the main root in the manner of the branches 
from the main stem ; consequently, we are 
directed to lengthen the main root, in order to 
increase the number of bearing shoots. This 
is accomplished by giving frequent earthings 
to the plant. That operation, however, re- 
quires discretion. For when too great a load 
of earth has been thrown up, as in hillocks, 
the lowest shoots being deprived of the sun 
and air, either become barren, or produce 



very small fruit. Potatoes planted in drills are 
not subject to this inconvenience. In general 
they have too slight a covering of earth, so that 
they seldom put out above one layer of bear- 
ing shoots. There is another objection to 
this method : for unlefs the bearers run in the 
direction of the drills, they escape at the sides, 
and ascend in a stalk, which bears leaves and 
flowers instead of potatoes. The haulm also 
of one row falls upon the crown of the con- 
tiguous one, which, by keeping out the sun, 
diminishes the crop. When cultivated in 
hillocks, the haulm falls down into the trench, 
leaving the crowns exposed to the solar heat. 
The potatoe delights in the sun, and cannot 
bear the shade ; for which reason we should 
be careful, in all the modes of cultivation, to 
preserve this bias of nature. 

In some places it is usual to dibble in the 
sets at sixteen inches distance on a flat surface. 
The land requires a good drefsing of rotten 
dung, and must have deep stirrings wdth the 
plough, if the staple of the soil will admit 
of it. 

Soon after the appearance of the plants, the 
intervals should be carefully hand-hoed, which 
operation must be repeated occasionally. — 


Some people trench with the spade, placing 
long litter at the bottom of the trenches j after 
which the sets are dibbled in. This is a good 
but expensive method. It is agreeable to the 
nature of the plant, as it encourages the run- 
ning of the bearing shoots. 

In whatever manner potatoes are cultivated, 
unlefs upon fresh land, dung must be used. 
It is an error to say that they do not exhaust 
the soil. On the contrary, they impoverish 
greatly; against which there is no remedy 
but plenty of dung and clean hufbandry. — » 
Under these circumstances they may be con- 
sidered as an ameliorating crop. 

In very coarse clays I have raised large 
crops of this root in hillocks, where it would 
have been impofsible to have cultivated them 
in drills. The reason is obvious. 

Of potatoes there are various kinds, and we 

are every day adding to their number by the 

industry of such gardeners as raise them from 

the apple. I shall only remark, that the sorts 

which yield the great -st increase are the most 

proper for the firmer. The early and tender 

kinds come more immediately under the care 

of the gardener. 



In this general view, the reader will ob- 
serve, that I do not consider the potatoe itself 
as the root of the plant, but rather as an 
under-ground fruit, produced upon a confined 
branch. The real roots do not produce 
potatoes j they only serve the purposes of 
drawing nutriment from the soil, in the same 
manner that the leaves above extract it from 
the atmosphere. The apple above, and the 
potatoe below, are, in fact, the same 3 but, 
living in different elements, they afsume dif- 
ferent appearances. The one seems to have 
been intended for the food of animals, and 
the other for the preservation of the species. 



On the culture of Turnips. 

J. HE drill method of raising turnips is 
generally practised by such Farmers as wish 
to be considered - in the light of correct 
husbandmen. The broadcast, or old method, 
is, however, better adapted to the generality of 
farmers. The instruments used are plain and 
simple in their structure, easy and familiar in 
their application. The drill system requires 
complicated machinery, and being founded 
upon principles, demands a degree of reason- 
ing to understand it. After which, the prac- 
tice requires a spirited kind of attention, not to 
be met with in every village. 

I do not propose to give a comparative 
view of the two methods. My intention in 
this efsay is only to throw a general light upon 
the drill culture of turnips, and to point out 
to the plain farmer an easy and certain method 
of raising a large crop upon almost any soil. 

The land being well ploughed and harrowed, 
but not manured, furrows must be drawn all 



over the field with the common plough, at 
three feet distance. These open furrows 
must nearly be filled with rotten dung. This 
operation is conducted by women and children, 
as usual in setting potatoes. After this the 
earth must be returned into the furrow, by 
a light plough drawn by one horse. The 
■jvhole field being now disposed in ridges at 
three feet distance, the seed must be sprained 
upon them from the fingers : after which 
a bush-harrow must be brought in to cover 
the seed, or a person with a rake may follow 
the seedsman. For the purpose of sowing 
the seedj I always make use of the hand- 
drill described by Mr. Young in the first 
volume of his Northern Tour. It is a cheap 
instrument, and does the work with expedition 
and certainty. In drilling of turnips, the 
farmer should be advised not to be sparing of 
seed ; for, as the rows undergo the operation 
of the hand-hpe, there can be no danger from 
a superfluity of plants. 

As soori as the turnips have got into the 
rough leaf they must be thinned by the hand- 
hoe, which operation may be performed by 
common servants. Broadcast turnips, on the 
contrary, require the utmost dexterity. This 
J esteeifl a material advantage. 


When the weeds come up in the intervals, 
they must be turned down by ploughing 
a furrow from the turnips, which will leave 
an arch of earth between the rows. At a 
proper season, when the weeds advance, this 
arch must be split, so that the turnips will be 
left upon ridges, with a trench in the place of 
the former arch. The rows should undergo 
a second hoeing ; and if any double turnips 
are left, they must be removed by the hand. 
Women and children perform this operation 
with great expedition. 

It is impofsible to conceive a finer sight 
than a field of turnips drefsed in this man- 
ner. The expense appears to be great; 
but the superior excellence of the crop, added 
to the cleannefs of the land, will much more 
than over-balance the additional expense and 
trouble. I do not take upon me to estimate 
the expense of this method of culture, as it 
depends greatly upon the addrefs of the per- 
sons employed ; on which account the second 
year will be lefs expensive than the first. — 
I do not mean to confine the farmer to a 
servile obedience to the rules that I have 
laid down. If he only observes the general 
principle of laying the manure at the bottom 
of the furrows, " he may reduce every other 
part of the operation to his own sentiment. 


Mr. Benson, an excellent farmer and in- 
genious mechanic, who lives in the neighbour- 
hood of Ripon, is the person that contrived 
the above mode ofcultivation,andhas followed 
it himself for many years, with great succefs. 
His method varies in some particulars from 
what I have described. He drills the seed 
upon the dung, and draws the earth over it 
with a kind of harrow without teeth. It is 
something of the shape of a crooked elbow. 
I believe this method is better than what 
I have described, especially in sultry weather. 
The seed, when placed upon the moist dung, 
and covered with the earth, soon vegetates, 
and pushes upwards with surprising vigour. 
The plants being strong, soon get into rough 
leaf, and by that means escape the ravages of 
the fly. I once sowed an acre of turnips in 
this manner during a sultry season. The 
plants were up on the seventh day, while the 
broadcast part of the same field did not show 
the least appearance till the fourteenth day 
after sowing. The field was sown at the same 
time, and the only difference lay in the culture. 
In hot and sultry weather the manure, as com- 
monly used, is exposed to the scorching rays of 
the sun J great part of it isconsequently exhaled. 
But when confined in the furrows, the exhala- 
tion from it is absorbed by the earth, and re- 


It may here be observed, that the above 
method does not efsentially difTer from the 
drill and horse-hoeing culture, excepting in 
the distribution of the manure. 

The horse-hoeing method begins to gain 
ground in this country. It is far superior to the 
broadcast, especially in districts where expert 
hoers cannot be procured. 

An ingenious friend of mine now raises 
excellent crops of turnips by the help of the 
drill and horse-hoe, where that useful vegetable 
is scarcely known. AVhat few are raised in 
his neighbourhood are so overrun with weeds 
for want of hand-hoeing, that the crop be- 
comes destructive both to the landlord and 
tenant. He has been so obliging as to com- 
municate to me his sentiments upon this head, 
which, I dare say, will be useful to such 
farmers as are desirous of raising large and 
clean crops of turnips at a small expense. 

This ingenious cultivator brings the land 
destined for turnips into excellent tilth by fre- 
quent ploughings. At the last stirring which 
is about Midsummer, either a little before or 
after, according to the season, he harrows the 
i^pd very fine, and, with the hand-drill 


described in the first volume of Mr. Young's 
Northern Tour, sows the seed in rows at two 
feet, and a half distance. After this the land 
is haiTowed once over with light harrows, in 
order to cover the seed. When the turnips 
are up and pretty strong, they are set out at 
about a foot distance with the hand-hoe. — 
AV'hen the land is much infested with weeds, 
he ploughs two furrows from the rows to the 
centre of the intermediate space ; and when 
the weeds make a second shoot, he splits the 
ridge with a horse-hoe with a double mould- 
board. When the land is not very foul, the 
latter operation is sufficient without the former. 
In this manner a large and clean crop of tur- 
nips may be procured with very little afsist- 
ance from the hand-hoe. 

In countries where hands are scarce, this is 
an excellent and judicious method. Every 
person may introduce such variations as may 
suit his own convenience, provided he takes 
care to preserve the general principle. 

I have known a large field of broad-cast 
turnips very well hoed, by cutting them into 
stripes with a light plough, and afterwards 
hand-hoeing the stripes by common labourers. 
This method is no despicable one in countries 


where hands are scarce. Women and children 
at a small expense, may afterwards be sent 
into the field to draw the double turnips, and 
set out the whole in a correct manner. 


On the Culture of Carrots^ cuid their Use in fattening 
of Hogs, 

JN the year 1769, I took two acres of rich 
sand land, which the year before had been 
ploughed out of swarth, and had borne a 
crop of very fine cabbages. About the 27th 
of March I ploughed and cleared the land 
from the cabbage stalks, and grafs that had 
grown between the rows, and prepared it 
without putting any manure upon it, for sow- 
ing my carrots in the following manner. — 
A plough with two horses drew a furrow of 
the common depth, and was followed by 
another plough with two horses in the same 
furrow, which turned up the soil ten or 
twelve inches deep. This is called double 
ploughing. Two ploughs will do about an 
acre a day. On the 5th of April I sowed the 
seed, about four pounds to an acre. My 
gardener finished the two acres with ease in 


a dav, having mixed the seed with about 
a bushel of dry sand. The seed was imme- 
diately harrowed in. When the carrots were 
about a month old, I sent some women into 
the field to hoe them. The hoes were only 
three inches broad. I afterwards had the 
field weeded twice by the hand, which, 
although very expensive, I found to be in- 
finitely the best way. The crop when taken 
up weighed twenty tons without the tops. 
I shall now proceed to the expense of culti- 
vating these two acres of carrots. 

£. s. d. 

Rent, 500 

Taxes, 040 

Two days ploughing with two ploughs, 14 

Three days harrowing, .... 9 

Cleaning the ground from the cab-) 

n n r 6 

bage stalks, Szc. J 

Eight pounds of seed, . . . . 12 

A man one dav sowins: . . .016 

Hoeing, 1.5 O 

Hand-weeding, first time, ... 1 

Ditto*, second time, 1 11 6 

^8 13 

* The reason why the second weeding cost more than the 
first, was because the women had sixpence per day, it being 
hay-time, whereas the first time they had only fourpence. 


Mr. Young, in his treatise upon the ma- 
nagement of hogs, is of opinion that boiled 
carrots arc the best food for fatteninsr that 
useful animal. He prefers them to pollard, 
white pease, buck wheat, or potatoes. I beg 
leave to transcribe the experiment upon which 
he founds his opinion. 

" In January, 1766, I drew from the herd 
ten hogs, as equal in size as pofsible, and 
weighed them alive in five lots. 

S. P. 

N° 1. weighed 13 4 

2. 12 6 

3. ■ 13 

4. 12 11 

5. 13 1 

" A nearer equality than this, in matters that 
can neither be added to nor diminished, can 
scarcely be expected. 

" N^ 1 . was fatted with white pease, that 
weighed sixty-six pounds per bushel, the 
price 30s. per quarter. 

" N° 2. with pollard, that weighed twenty- 


two pounds per bushel, the price 9d. per 

" N° 3. with buck-wheat, that weighed 
forty-seven pounds per bushel, the price 2s. 3d. 
per bushel. 

" N° 4. with boiled potatoes, that weighed 
fifty-four pounds per bushel, the price 2s. per 

" N° 5. with boiled carrots, that weighed 
raw fifty-five pounds per bushel, the price 
Is. Id. per bushel. 

" I thought it best to fix on a given sum, 
as proper to fat each hog. The people I con- 
sulted were of opinion, that eight bushels of 
white pease were necefsary to fat one such 
hog well. This I accordingly fixed on as my 
criterion. The account of the expense there- 
fore stood thus : 




N° 1. Pease, 16 bushels, - - - 3 

2. Pollard, 80 bushels, - - - 3 

3. Buckwheat, 27 bushels, - - 3 


4. Potatoes, 28 bushels, - 2 16 

Labour and Coals, - - 4 

5. Carrots, 49 bushels, 2 13 2 
Labour and Coals, 6 10 




** Kacb lot was weighed as soon as the food 
was done: The result was as follows : 

S. P. 
N^ 1. weighed 27 6 

2. 27 9 

3. 29 2 3 

4. 25 7 

5. 31 o 

" It is evident from this experiment, that 
carrots boiled are superior to any other food. 
I did not expect that potatoes wor.ld be so 
much inferior j but I have found from divers 
other trials since, that it is requisite to mix the 
meal of somekind of corn with them. Pol- 
lard in this trial, as in the last, is superior to 

From this experiment of Mr. Young, the 

boiled carrots appear in a favourable light. I 

was therefore induced to follow his advice, and 

accordingly bought in twelve hogs as follows; 

S. P. 

K*^ 1. 15 2 

2. 16 

l^. 14 12 

4. 13 13 

Carried over 59 1 '^ 
Volume I. 


s. p. 

Bi^ought over 59 

























On the 26th of October, 1769, I put them 
up to feed upon boiled carrots, which they eat 
with seeming pleasure. On the 28th of De- 
cember I weighed them again, being fat, and 
found that they had gained, in the nine weeks, 
just 33 St. 10 lb. During this period they con- 
sumed 574 bushels of carrots, at 4 St. per 

These 574 bushels, if estimated at^ /. s. d. 

Is. Id. per bushel, would have V34 13 ^0 
cost ) 

Attendance, fire, &c. for nine weeks, 3 12 O 

^. 38 5 10 


A farmer presuming upon Mr. Young's ex- 
periment, and purchasing carrots at 1 s. 1 d. 
per bushel, would just give 38 1. 5 s. 10 d. for 
33 St. 10 lb. of live flesh. 

Thus far I have related my experiment, and 
so far it accompanies Mr. Young's. The dif- 
ference in the result is amazing. Mr. Young 
gets 17 St. 13 lb. of live flesh for 3 1. I pay 
38 lb. 5 s. lOd. for'33 St, lOlb. which is up- 
wards of 23 s. per stone. 

It will be unn^cefsary to make many reflec- 
tions upon the result of this interesting experi- 
ment. I shall onlv observe, that ever, thing 
relative to it was conducted with that care and 
attention which trials of this important nature 
require. Towards the latter end of fattening, 
I found it necefsary to bestow upon the hogs 
as much bean meal as cost me 6 i. without 
which the bacon would not have been market- 

Willing to carry my trial as far as it could 
be prosecuted, I killed the hogs. When dried, 
they weighed, without the cheeks, 104 st. 
which sold in the London market for 40 s. a 
hundred. The cheeks were valued at halt a 




crown a piece. In the course of drying, ih(^ 
bacon lost upwards of 70 st. which great con- 
sumption was, in some degree, made up by the 
excellence ot its quality. 

/. s. d. 
PHmccQSt of 12 hogs, :.2 9 0~\ 
Bean meal, 6 O 

Fire and attend-ance fori f^ vr. /-. 
nine weeks, J j 

Value of the bacon and cheeks. 

/. s. L 

^ 32 1 

27 10 O 

Lofs/'. 4 11 

From the above experiment it is plain, that 
we fliould not depend upon carrots alone for 
fattening of hogs. A judicious mixture of 
food conftitutes the moft rational and profitable 
method. Mr. Young makes his carrots worth 
i3d. a buflael in fattening. I lose upwards of 
4l. befides 574 buPaels of carrots, which I 
could have sold for 28l. It may be proper to 
obferve, that my hogs, being much larger than 
^Ir. Young's,, eat a proportionable quantity of 
carrots before they were fat. This difference 
in size may probably account, in some degree, 
for the different results of our expcrlmcntji 



On the Stw[y of Nature. 

JL HE study of nature is one of the moit plea- 
sin? amusements that caneno-ajj^e the mind of 
man. The entertainment that it gives, is a,'? 
infinite as the variety of the subjects of which 
it is composed. When we consider the his- 
tory of nature as interwoven with religion, our 
breast is immediately opened, and the divine 
goodnefs sinks down into the licart with energy 
and conviction. Akenside beautifully exprel- 
ses himself when he says. 

■"The men 

Whom nature's works can charm, with God himself 
Hold converse ; grow famihar, day by day, 
With his conceptions j act upon his plan, 
And form to his, the relish of their souls. 

Wherever we cast our eyes, a field of con- 
templation opens to our view. The anima], 
vegetable, and mineral worlds teem with mat- 
ter for the exercise of our minds. 

Man, in a state of nature, is obliged to his 



industry for meat anc] clothinfr. He is born 
r.akod and defencelefs. Early he loaves the 
tostcring hands of his parents, and goes into 
the wide world, where his understanding must 
supply the wants of nature. Being a social 
animal, he herds with his fellow-creatures. 
Societies are formed for mutual protection. 
Providence having bestowed upon man, from 
the beginning, all manner of power over the 
beasts of the field, the fowls of the a'r, :uid the 
fishes of the sea, he executes his power, and 
subjects them to his will. The vegetable crea- 
tion lies open to his view. Minerals, though 
hid in the bowels of the earth, yield to his in- 
dustry. For him all things seem to have been 
made. Every thing ultimately resolves itself 
into the ease, comfort, and satisfaction of man. 
Whether we consider them as supplying his 
natural wants, or contributing to his artificial 
desires, the argument is still the same : He is 
lord of all, and enjoys the whole. 

Over some animals he is forced to exercise 
command. Others follow him, and cannot 
exist without his protection. Sheep that sup- 
ply him with food and clothing, stand most 
in need of his afsistance. They lodge, as it 
were, in his bosom — and are never found in 
countries untrod by man. 


The face of the globe is covered with a last- 
ing verdure for the use of animals that are 
friendly to man. In every countrv, and in 
every place, the bountitul eartli brings forth 
its fruits in due season, and rewards the in- 
dustrious care of the husbandman. Corn is 
spontaneous in no climate, but the industry of 
man can raise it in all. 

The just contemplation of the works of Pro- 
vidence is the humble adoration of a Christian. 
He views, with gratitude, the good things that 
'God has made, and enjoys them cheerfully. 
Let the melancholy Recluse shrink into his 
wretched habitation, and, with hisTiself, bury 
the gloomy horrors of his mind. God delights 
in the cheerful contemplation of his works. 
The Saviour of the world bids us consider ihc 
lilies of the afield hozv they grozv ; t/ifj/ toil not, 
neither do they spin ; and yet Solomon in all his 
glory zcas not arrayed like one of these. 

The regular return of seasons, and the inva- 
riable order thatvegetablesobserve in budding, 
leafing, and flowering, bespeak almighty wis- 
dom and almighty power. A mind harmoni- 
zed to such divine contemplations, sees at ail 
times, and feels with warmth, the goodnefs of 



the Creator to the created. He considers the 
works of nature as the silent, but exprefsive 
language of the Diety ; and while he seems 
only to admire, is wrapt in gratitude and de- 


On the Time of Sowing. 

JVlR, Harold Barck, in his ingenious difser- 
tation upon the foliation of trees, published in 
the Amten. Acad. Vol. III. informs us, tliat 
the illustrious Linnaeus had, in the most ear- 
nest manner, exhorted his countrymen to ob- 
serve, with all care and djjigence, at what time 
each tree expands its buds and unfolds its 
leaves ; imagining, and not without reason, 
that his country would, some time or other, 
reap some new and perhaps unexpected be- 
nefit from observations of this kind made in 
diiTerent places. 

As one of the apparent advantages, he ad- 
vises the prudent husbandman to watch, with 
the greatest care, the proper time for sowing ; 
because this, with the divine afsistance, pro- 


duces plenty of provision, and lays the founda- 
tion of the public welfare of the state, and of 
the private happinefs of the people. Tlie ig- 
norant farmer, tenacious of the ways and cus- 
toms of his ancestors, fixes his sowinij- season 
generally to a month, and sometimes to a par- 
ticular day, without considering whether the 
earth be in a proper state to receive the seed ; 
from whence it frequently happens that what 
the sower sowed with sweat, the reaper reaps 
with sorrow. The wise economist should 
therefore endeavour to fix upon certain signs 
whereby to judge of the proper time for sow- 
ing. We see trees open their "buds and expand 
their leaves, from v/hence we conclude that 
spring approaches, and experience supports us 
in the conclusion ; but no body has as yet 
been able to show us what trees Providence 
has intended should be cur kalendar, so that 
we might know on what day the countryman 
ought to sow his grain. No one can deny but 
that the same power which brings forth the' 
leaves of trees^ v/ill also make the grain vege- 
tate ; nor can any one af^ert that a premature 
sowing will always, and in every place, acce- 
lerate a ripe harvest. Perhaps, therctore, we 
cannot promise ourselves a happy succefs by 
?iny means so likely, as by taking our rule for 


sowing from the leafing of trees. AVe must 
for that end observe in what order every tree 
puts forth its leaves according to its species, 
the heat of the atmosphere, and the quality of 
the soil. Afterwards, by comparing together 
the observatiofiS of the several years, it will 
not be difficult to determine, from the foliation 
of the trees, if not certainly, at least probably, 
the time when annual plants ought to be sown. 
It will be necefsarv likewise to remark what 
sowings made in different parts of the spring 
produce the best crops, in order that, by com- 
paring these with the leafing of trees, it may 
appear which is the most proper time for 

To these most ingenious remarks, Mr. Barck 
has added the order of the leafing of trees in 
Sweden. Mr. Stillingfleet is the only person 
that has made correct obser\'ations upon the 
fo&tdcn of the trees and shrubs of this king- 
dom. The following is his kalendar, which 
was made in Norfolk in the year 1765. 

1 Heney-suckle - - - - Jan. 15 

2 Gooseberry - - - - March 1 1 

S Currant 11 

4 Elder 11 


5 Birch ------ April 1 

6 Weeping Willow ----- i 

7 Raspberry --- -_--3 

8 Bramble 3 

9 Briar ---------- 

10 Plumb 6 

11 Apricot -- 6 

12 Peach 6 

13 Filberd -- 7 

14 Sallow --- -- ---7 

15 Alder 7 

16 Sycamore -------9 

17 Elm 10 

18 Quince -10 

] 9 Marsh Elder H 

20 Wych Elm 12 

21 Quicken Tree ------ 13 

22 Hornbeam -- 13 

23 Apple Tree 14< 

24 Abele 16 

25 Chesnut ---- ---16 

26 Willow 1"^ 

27 Oak 18 

28 Lime 1^ 

29 Maple --- 19 

30 Walnut 21 

31 Plane 21 

32 Black Poplar 21 


53 Beech ----- y\pril 21 
r>4 Acasia Robinia ----- 21 

35 Ash --•- . - _ --22 

36 Carolina Poplar - - - - - 22 

In different years, and in different soils and 
expositions, these trees and shrubs vary as to 
their leafing ; biit they are invariable as to their 
succefsion, being bound dov/n to it by nature 
hcjself. A farmer, therefore^ who would use 
tliis sublime idea of Linnieus, should dili2:eiitlv 
mark .the _timjp of budding, leafing, and flower- 
ing of different plants. He should also put 
down the days on which his respective grains 
were sown ; and, by comparing these two 
tables for a number of years, he will be enabled 
to forni an exact kalendar for his spring corn. 
An attention to the discolouring and falling of 
the leaves of plants, will afsist him in sowing 
his winter grain, and teach him how to guefs 
at the approach of winter. Towards the end 
of September, which is the best season for sow- 
ing wheat^ he will find 

'llie leaves of the plane tree, tavvney ; 

of the oak, yellowish green ; 

of the hafsel, yellow ; 

of the sycamore, dirty brown , 

~ of the maple, pale yellow ; 



The leaves of the ash, fine lemon ; 

of the elm, orange ; 

■ — of the hawthorn, tawnev vcllow ; 

of the cherry, red ; 

of the hornbeam, bright yellow. 

There is a certain kind of genial warmth 
which the earth should enjoy at the time the 
seed is sown*. 

Vere lumenl terrac et genitalia Semina poscunt. Vikg. 

In the animal world we observe this in the 
most convincing manner. In brutes the symp- 
toms of that period are plainly marked. The 
budding, leafing, and fiovvering of plants, seem 
to indicate the same happy temperature of the 

Appearances of this subHme nature may be 
compared to the writing upon the wall, which 

* In the North of England, when the earth turns up 
with a mellow and crflmbly appearance, and snioaks, the 
farmers say tiie earth is brimmiug. This state is but ci 
short duration, and shows the exact tin^.e when the seed 
should be sown'. This appearance will ever coincide with 
the budding, leafing, flowering, &c. of some plants that 
grow in the field. The husbandman should, therefore, at 
that time, make his observatiun.Sj in orJ':-r to form hi^ 
karleiidar of Flora. 


was seen by many, but understood by few. 
They seem to constitute a kind of harmonious 
intercourse between God and man. They are 
the silent language of the Deity. 

The ingenious and indefatigable Mr. Young 
has endeavoured to ascertain the time of sow- 
ing by another method. His experiments are 
accurately conducted, andhis conclusions from 
them fairly drawn ^ but it were to be wished 
that he had interwoven the idea of Linnseus 
with his own experiments ; we should then 
fcave had an unerring rule to go by; The tem- 
perature of the season, with respect to heat 
and cold, drought and wet, differs in every 
year. Experiments made this year cannot de- 
termine, with certainty, for the next. They 
may afsist, but cannot be conclusive. The 
hints of Linnaeus constitute an universal rule 
for the whole world, because trees, shrubs, 
and herbs, bud, leaf, flower, and shed their 
leaves, in every country, according to the dif- 
ference of seasons. 

In order to induce some careful observer to 
prosecute this useiul inquiry, I shall select 
some of Mr. Young's experiments, as an ex- 
cellent pattern to go by ; and I flatter myself 


that the observations in the former part of this 
efsay, will be sufficient to direct him in com- 
bining the experiments of the field, with the 
sublime ideas of the philosopher. — The expe- 
riments I refer to are recorded in the first vo- 
lume of Experimental Agriculture, under the 
article Wheat. 

" Experiment V. p. 293. 

" In 1765, I marked several drills, each a 
perch long, in a piece of fallow. The soil a 
loose woodcock loam on the surface, and 
under that a clay. Sowed each with an ounce 
of wheat, at the following times : 

N°. 1. August 18 

2. . 31 

3. September 10 

4. 17 

5. • 24- 
Ploughed again. 

6. October 1 

7. 13 

8. 20 

Another ploughing. 

9. - 31 

10. November 9 

11. If> 


Another ploudiino-. 









*' The drills in all the experiments were two' 
feet asunder. They were all hand-hoed at.the 

same time. 

The Produce.* 

i^o, I. , 6L ounces 

2. — 6i 



4. 6i 

5. 6i 

6. 6^ 

7. .1 — . 5^ 

8. 5i 

9. .^ 5 

10. 5 

]J. 5:- 

12. 4-1 

13. Si 

14. 3 . 

" This experiment, though not decisive in 
every point, is very important in the result of 
late sowing. October is, in Suffolk, supposed 
to be the best time for wheat-seed sowing : 


but this shows that September is at least 
equal, if not superior: and, what would 
astonish one half of the farmers in the country, 
is, that the latter part of August is as good as 
either; but after October the product de- 
creases ; and in December it comes to a trifle. 
This effect is particular, as the latter sown 
corn had the advantage of three ploughings 
more than the early. 

" Experiment VI. p. 294. 

*' In 1765, marked some perches of fallow 
in the same field, and sowed them each with 
one ounce of seed, at the following times : 

N*' 1. August 2.'? 

2. 31 

3. September 3 

Ploughed again. 

4. September 16 

5. 21 

6. 28 

Another Ploughing. 

7. October 7 

8. 16 

9. -36 

Volume 7. L 


Another ploughing. 
N° 10. November 4 

11. 14 

12. ■ 20 

13. 28 

Another Ploughing. 

14. December 6 

15. — 12 

16. 18 

" Hoeing, cleaning, &c. performed on the 

same days. 



N° 1. 


si: ounces 

































" This experiment, like the last, appears 
to me to have an important result. So early 
as August, seems to be somewhat improper 
for sowing : from the beginning of September 
to the middle of October, the most advantage- 
ous season : November bad, but December 
worse ; and this degradation, notwithstanding 
the progrefsion of ploughing, which is a ma- 
terial point, and by no means to be over- 

" Experiment VII. p. 295. 

'^'^ In 1765, marked some perches of fallow 
in a field consisting of a light gravelly loam, 
and sowed them each with one ounce of seed, 
at the followinsr seasons : 







Fresh Ploughed. 

4, September 21 

5. 28 

6. October 4 

7. 11 

8. 18 



Another ploughing. 

N^ 9. October 25 

10. November 2 

11. 9 

Another ploughing. 

12. November 16 

13. 23 

14. 30 

Another ploughing. 

15. December 7 

16. 18 

17. 26 


N« l; 


4^ ounces* 


























N'' 14. produced 5 ounces-. 

25. 4t 

16. 4 

17. 4 

" We find in this tabic, that the prin- 
cipal produce is from N*' S to 8, that is, from 
the 10th of September to the 18th of October j 
before and after which time we do not find any 
date with so considerable a one. The simi- 
larity of the produce of the dates, within that 
period, gives much reason to suppose an 
equahty from the beginning to the end of it — 
Number of ploughings are apparently of no 
effect in making up for too late a sowing : 
but whether that is really the case, cannot be 
absolutely known, as the product might others 
wise have been lefs. 

"Experiment VIII. p. 296. 

" In 1765, marked some perches in the 
same field, on a clover lay that had been 
mown once, and part twice ; the ploughings 
did not vary in this experiment. They were 
sown in the following seasons : 

N'^ 1. August 17 

2. . 26 



N° 3. September 3 

4. 10 

5. . 21 

6. . . 28 

7. October 11 


9. 25 

10. November 2 

H. — ^ 9 

12. 16 

13. . 23 

14. 30 

15. December 7 

16. 18 

17. — 26 

" Those numbers that were sown before 
the second crop of clover had come to a pro- 
per height for hay, were mown young, and 
the produce carried off. The hoeing and 
weeding were performed the same days to 


N'' 1. produced Si ounces. 

2. 3l 

3. 5 




81 ounces. 


























" This experiment, upon the whole, con- 
firms the result of the preceding ; which is of 
the more consequence, as it is a total variation, 
being a clover-land crop, and all the rest 
fallow ones. But the trifling product of the 
first numbers sown early, shows that very early 
sowing is vastly worse on clover than on 
fallow land ; which I suppose, is owing to the 
roots of the clover not only being short of their 
proper size and growth, but also in an im- 
proper state for forwarding the growth of the 
xvheat ; perhaps so full of juices as to mould 
the seed. 



Experiment IX. p. 297. 

"In 1166, I marked several perches of 
fallow land, in the field of experiment V. and 
sowed them each with one ounce of seed as 
before, at the following seasons : 

N° 1. July 30 

2. August 4 

3. 11 

4. 18 

A fresh ploughing. 

5. August 25 

6. September 1 

7. 8i heavy rain. 

Another ploughing. 

8. September 15 

9. - 22 

10. 29 

Another Ploughing. 

11. October 7 

12. 13 

13. 20 

14. 27 

Another ploughing. 

15. J^'ovember 3 

16. IS^heavyrain 

fell the 8th 

17. 17 

18. 24 


Another ploughing. 
N° 19. December 1 

20. 8 

21. 35 

22. . 22 

23. 29 

24. January 29 3 the seve- 
rity of the weather prevented sowing sooneiv 

25. February 7 

Another ploughing. 

26. February 14 

27. 21 

28. ■ 28 

29. March 7 
SO. 14 

Another ploughing, 

31. March 28 

32. April ^ 

33. 13 

34. 23 

Another ploughing. 

35. Apiil 28 

" I should here remark, that the plough^ 
ings v/ere never performed when the ground 
was in an improper state for the operation for 
a wheat sowing ; respecting wet, I mean. 


The hoeing and weeding were performed on 
the same days to all, except the spring sow- 
ings, which varied once. 


N° 1 produced 3 ounces. 














































N° 24 pr. 



Si- ounces, 






















" The result of this trial, I apprehend, is 
very important : the seasons, from first to last, 
are so extremely various, that the effect might 
easily be supposed to carry conclusions of con- 
sequence. The end of July, and the first 
fortnight in August, are evidently very impro- 
per seasons ; the last fortnight better. From 
the 1st of September to the 20th of October, 
the prime season of the whole experiment : 
from the 27th of October to the 24th of No- 
vember, the produce is not greatly inferior. 
The December sowings are much lower. 
Those of Januarv, and all after, very low ; not 
much difference between them. Now, it must 
h^ considered, that there are eight ploughings 


between the first and the last sown, and yet 
the produce of each is the same ; and it is ob- 
servable, that there appears much reason to 
think, that the ploughings have little, if any 
effect. The season appears to be the cause 
alone of variation : a point of great conse- 
quence for every farmer thoroughly to attend 
to. Early sowing (earlier than is common) 
is evidently advantageous ; which should like- 
wise be remarked, as a ploughing, or perhaps 
two, may be saved with profit — an object of 
much consequence to every husbandman. 

" Experiment X, p. 3G0. 

" In 1766, marked 35 perches, as in the 
preceding trials, and sowed them in the same 
days. The ploughings were all repeated at the 
same time ; but a variation made in all, of ma- 
nuring the land with rotten dung, at the rate 
of about twelve loads per acre ; which was on 
all ploughed in by the earth preceding the 


N° 1 produced 3 ounces. 
2 3 

o ox 

o 0% 




produced 6 ounces 

























































N*' 32 produced 3 ounces. 
S3 3 

34 2i 

35 2 

" The general result of this experiment 
seems to confirm the preceding one ; only it 
is observable, that the manuring renders later 
autumnal sowing more beneficial than in the 
unmanured : and it is, I think, consistent with 
reason that this should be the case. The very 
early and veiy late sowings seem to be the 
worse fiDr the dung. 

Experiment XI. p. SOI. 

" In 1766, marked 35 perches of fallow in 
the field of experiment VII. and sowed them 
as before, on the same dates, and with the 
same ploughings as the two last inserted trials. 


N^ 1 produced 3i ounces. 

2 3i 

3 SI 

4 6i 

5 5l 

6 6i 


N° 7 produced 7 ounces. 

















16 ' 










































" This experiment is a confirmation of most 
of the preceding. From September 8th to 
November 24th, is the chief produce j whicii 
agrees much with the result of former trials. 
Very late sowings, notwithstanding the in- 
crease of ploughings, are pernicious ; and very 
early ones the same. There cannot be a 
greater proof of the importance of sowing at 
the proper season, than its more than balanc- 
insT all the advanta;?es of extra-tillage. 

o o o 

Experiment XII. p. 502. 

" In 1766, marked 35 perches, and sovi^ed 
them as before, on a clover lay, in the field of 
experiment VII. The dates the same as in 
the preceding trials. 



N« 1 


2i: ounces 


















N° 10 produced 7i ounces. 

















19 ' 
































35 - 


** From September 8th to December 22d, 
Volume L M 


is the season of the greatest produce : it lasts 
longer in this trial than in former ones, which 
must certainly be attributed, in part, to the 
soil being a gravel. The other dates are good 
or bad, in proportion to their being near or 
far removed from that period. 


" I must observe upon this series of experi- 
ments, that all were kept quite clean of 
weeds ; which management occasioned a 
variation of expense, according to the variety 
of seasons. 

" The early-sown corn required a thorough 
weeding before winter j in respect of tillage 
after sowing, this was all the difference in the 
expense, (ploughings excepted,) between sow- 
ing in July or August, and September or 
October. The common farmers' principal 
objection to early sowing was this point of 
weeds: " If,** said they, " we were to sow 
" so early, our crops would be overrun with 
"weeds, and destroyed by them.*' But this 
would have been no objection to the practice, 
had it otherwise proved beneficial : for, upon 
a supposition that the fallow could not be 
freed so soon from weeds, yet the crop admits 


of the most exact cleansing; I tiavef often 
had broad-cast crops thoroughly cleaned from 
all sorts of weeds by hand-work ; and, by an 
earlier growth of them, such a work might be 
performed so much the easier: and, if such 
a system was not approved, that of hand- 
hoeing, with small three or four inch hoes, 
would effectually answer every objection. — ■ 
Upon the whole, I may afsert from experience, 
that in broad-cast sowing the additional clean- 
ing from weeds, arising from early sowing, 
will not, upon an average of several years, 
amount to above 5s* per acre, supposing the 
fallow to have been managed as it ought in 
common husbandry j viz. the tillage to begin 
in the autumn, or before : but, as to the 
execrable method of not beginning to plough 
till after barley-sowing, I certainly need not 
add that, with such a conduct, a very early- 
sown crop must stand a chance of being ab- 
solutely destroyed. And I should further 
observe, that these remarks are proportionably 
applicable to that season which these experi- 
ments show to be the most beneficial, viz. 
September, and the first fortnight in October, 
■which is, upon the whole, a full month earlier 
than the Suffolk farmers venture their seed in 
the ground ; consequently, any objections to 



that season, of this nature, are void o^ 

" As to the dates of the time of sowing, if, 
upon the whole, appears decisively, that the 
month of S-cptcmber is the most advantageous ; 
and next, with a slight inferiority, the first 
fortnight of October : succeeding months to 
April are all bad ; the more remote the worse ; 
and that notwithstanding all advantages of 
extra ploughings. This result is peculiarly 
important for giving much tillage to land; for a 
certain decrease of product proves it evidently 
a pernicious practice, and such as never could 
obtain, without the afsistance of false ideas. 

" The common idea of this neighbourhood 
is, that a fortnight after old Michaelmas is the 
prime wheat-seed season ; but these experi- 
ments, I apprehend, clearly prove the con- 

" I never perceived any difference between 
• the corn sown at different seasons, in respect 
of distempers, or being beaten down." — 
So far the ingenious Mr. Young. 

Looking over the memoirs of the Laudable 


'Society of Berne for the year 1761, I was most 
agreeably entertained with M. de Saufsure's 
account of the time of sowing wheat. His 
experiments and reasoning upon tliem do 
honour to the most consummate philosopher. 
The length of time employed in this interest- 
ing part of rural economy, gives weight and 
solidity to his arguments. I think I .cannot 
finish this efsay in a more useful manner, than 
by transcribing the'sentiments of this most in- 
genious foreigner. The reader is desired to 
carry in his mind, as he goes along, a just idea 
of distinction between this kingdom and the 
country of Swifserland, where .the experiments 
were made. 

" On the 8th of August, 1740," says M. de 
Saufsure, to whom we owe these experiments, 
" I sowed a coupe* of wheat in the middle of 
a field, which required ihxcQ coupes to sow the 
whole of it, being of opinion that this might 
be a more favourable season for sowing that 
grain, than the time which is usually chosen 
for it. This opinion was founded on my 
having often heard say, that those crops were 

* The cowpe is a Swils measure, nearly equal to two of o ir 



the best which had taken good root before the 
winter ; and this, I thought, must be most 
effectually brought about by sowing early. — 
The rest of this field was sown in the latter 
end of September, the usual time of sowing in 
this country, that I might the more easily 
compare the two methods. Every part of the 
field had received the same manure and the 
same tilth, and was sown with the same par^ 
eel of wheat. 

" The peasants, who were witnefses of what 
I did, declared, that if the wheat did not re-f 
main a month in the ground without sprout- 
ing, it certainly would not yield any crop. — 
The succefs exceeded my hopes, and proved 
contrary to their prognostic. 

** The wheat sown in the month of August 
was, at harvest, taller, thicker, and cleaner than 
the corn in the rest of the field. In general 
there was a great deal of smutty wheat that 
year. The sides of my small field were much 
infected therewith, but there was not one 
smutty ear in the middle of it. Here is a very 
efsential advantage of early sowing, which 
this experiment promises. 

" The cleannefs of the sheaves of the first- 


sown wheat induced me to thresh them sepa- 
rately and they yielded a good deal more 
corn than those which came off the rest of the 

** I repeated the experiment tire next year. 
On the same day, the 8th of August, I sowed 
two coupes and a half of wheat upon narrow 
ridges, and in a small field v/here the land lay 
flatter, and of which the soil was not all of 
«qual goodnefs. The event was the same as 
before. The crop yielded eighty-five sheaves, 
seven feet in circumference at the binding of 
the sheaf. Twenty such sheaves give usually 
from four to five coupes of corn, more or Jefs, 
according to the goodnefs of the soil and 
season. The sheaves of this experiment 
yielded, in general, about a quarter of a coupe 
each. One place, of about twenty square 
toises of eight feet, yielded six sheaves; a very 
great crop. These six sheaves had indeed 
Jefs grain in them than the others. The corn 
was laid, and these sheaves yielded but an 
eighth part of a coiipe each, which was, how- 
ever, an increase of ten for one. Tlie corn 
was not laid in any other part of the field, the 
strength of the stalks keeping it upright. 



" From this time I continued to sow every 
year a little earlier and a little more, and 
always with the same succefs. In the year 
1744, I sowed a field all of the same kind and 
soil, and ploughed into high ridges, each 
alternate ridge, one in August and the other 
in September. The crops were very different. 
The corn sown in August was taller and 
thicker than the other. They w^ere each 
reaped apart, that I might the better compare 
their increase. Twenty sheaves of that sown 
in August yielded four coupes and three quar- 
ters. The same number of sheaves of the 
other vielded but three and three quarters, ^s 
is usual elsewhere in the countr)-. 

" I now looked upon this time of sowing ^s 
sufficiently confirmed by experience, and have 
continued the practice constantly, beginning 
to sow in the first week in August, and end- 
ing it as soon as pofsible. I compare my 
corn of every year with what is sown later, 
and constantly find the comparison is in 
favour of my method. 

<* In 1751, I found a remarkable difference 
between my crop and those of my neighbours. 
There was a great fall of snow that winter^. 


and the thaw was followed by frequent and 
alternate frosts and thaws. My neighbour;* 
reaped only a few sheaves of corn, which 
grew where the ground was sheltered by 
hedges, and the snow lay longer ; whilst on 
the whole of my sowing, I reaped fifteen 
sheaves for every coupe thiit was sown, and 
they yielded me three coupes of good wheat. 
This was indeed a small crop when considered 
by itself; but it was considerable when com- 
pared with the neighbouring no-crops, or 
nearly so. The superiority of my crop was 
owing, not only to my early sowing, but, 
I believe, also to my lands being laid in high 
ridees ; the furrows carry off the melted snow 
before the returns of the frost. 

" My neighbours began now to be sensible 
of the advantage of my practice, and I had the 
pleasure of seeing many of them begin to sow 
on the first of September, some even in the 
month of August. By degrees, their reason 
got the better of their prejudices. 

" I make no scruple now to declare, after 
an experience of twenty-three years, that the 
best time for sowing wheat in this country 
(Swifserland) is the beginning, or at farthest 
the middle of August. I sow my heavy and 


my light lands at the same time, without any 
distinction. In the field on which I first 
began this practice, there is some light land, 
and some of it even mixed with gravel ; yet 
there, as in every other soil, the early sowing 
has constantly succeeded.' 

" It is a common opinion, that if wheat goes 
into stalks before the winter, it perishes. 
This is a maxim which pafses from mouth to 
mouth, and is established by tradition, with- 
out ever making the experiment ; for that 
would at once give it the lie. I can declare, 
that my wheat, sown in a good soil, constantly 
rises into stems, which have sometimes several 
knots, before the winter. They begin even 
to tiller ; for I counted seven or eight stalks 
on one plant in the month of October. The 
wheat which I sowed on the 8th of August, 
1741, was as much grown in the month of 
November, as it usually is in the latter end of 
April ; yet it preserved its verdure and 
strength all the winter, which was not milder 
than common. There were some plants of rye 
which had gone into ear, and perished in the 
winter : yet they rofe again in the spring, the 
roots having remained entire. 

" Some people are frightened at the yellow 


colour which the early-sown wheat is sometimes 
of at the end of the autumn. It has frequently 
happened to mine, but was not attended with 
any ill consequences. The cause of it seems 
to be the same with that which makes the 
leaves fall from trees. The juices which had 
hitherto risen in great plenty, stop in the win- 
ter. The same happens to grafs which withers, 
but the roots suffer, not ; on the contrary, per- 
haps they increase the more. The wheat 
sown later is lefs subject to this accident, be- 
cause its blade require lefs juices to support 

" I sow my wheat even in the greatest 
drought, which being frequent here in the 
month of August, would prevent my sowing 
was I to delay it on that account. My wheat, 
I think, makes a considerable progrefs during 
the dry season ; and though that progrefs be 
not apparent, it is, perhaps, not the lefs real. 
There is at all times in well-ploughed grounds 
a moisture, if not sufficient to make the grain 
spring, at least enough to swell and prepare it. 
I have never found any inconvenience arise 
from it, and have thought that my crops, 
which came from corn that had lain a fort- 
night or three weeks in the earth, were better 


than when a wet season had brought them upi 

" The grain which has undergone this pre- 
paration, springs up on the first rain ; whereas 
they who delay sowing till the rain comes, 
must also wait till the earth is again a little 
dried. This rain sometimes continues too 
Jong, and may prevent the wheat's being 
sown till winter, as happened this year to our 
neighbours in Savoy. They intended sowing 
their wheat in October. It was not drought 
that caused this delay. It was indolence in 
some, and proceeded in others from their 
having too great a quantity of land to plough 
in proportion to their cattle, however it was, 
a month or five weeks' rain prevented their 
sowing till November, and their corn now, in 
May, at the time of my writing this, looks 
very poorly. 

" By beginning to sow early, I am never 
in danger of having my seed-time thrown back 
in this manner. It may perhaps be said, that a 
continued drought may prevent my corn's rising 
before the winter. The year 1746 showed 
me that I had nothing to fear from this incon- 
venience. The summer of that year was very 


hot and dry. I sowed my wheat in the be- 
ginning of August, in a very hot season, and 
in a strong soil, with a gentle declivity to the 
south ; and as I sow under furrow, the grain 
was lodged pretty deep. The dry weather 
continued through the autumn, and the few 
showers that fell, did not penetrate deep 
enough to reach the grain. The winter was 
cold and dry till Eebruary. During all this 
time there was not a blade of my corn to be 
seen, except from a few grains which had 
fallen in the furrows. At length the rain fell 
plentifully in February, and the corn came up 
nearly as thick as if it had risen in due time. 
The stalks became large, and the ears looked 
well, but did not contain much grain, the time 
for its vegetation being too short. 

" In the beginning of this practice, I was 
afraid that crops so superior to others might 
too much impoverish the land, which had not 
received any additional help, and thereby 
make it afterwards yield poorer crops. Full 
of these thoughts, after having reaped more 
plentiful crops from those parts of my field 
which were sown in August 1744, than from, 
the rest, I sowed the whole field the next 
year at the same time, and was impatient to 


see the event. I saw, with surprise, that the 
same ridges had a shadow of superiority over 
the others. Whether this proceeded from the 
plants drawing a greater quantity of nourish- 
ment from the air before the late sowing had 
risen, and continued so to do by their larger 
surface ; or whether the parts sown, being six 
weeks lefs time in fallow, had lost so much 
lefs by evaporation, I will not determine.— 
A similar observation is laid before us by the 
Sieur Grauque, of the mountain of Diefse.- — 
Recommending a certain mixture of grain for 
spring sowing, he says that it is necefsary to 
get as great crops as pofsible, because, the 
greater the crop the land hears, the lefs it is 
altered or impoverished by it s and on the con- 
trary, the lefs the crop is, the poorer the land 

** We know that wheat sown late in 
November will bring a crop, and that more 
plentiful than what is sown in March : yet the 
progrefs which the former makes more than the 
latter, can be only in the roots; for the blades 
will soon be nearly the same in both. This is 
likewise the case in the several garden-plants, 
where the seed sown early gives a better 
,crop than that of the same kind which is sown 


late. Trees also transplanted in autumn, 
thrive better than those planted in the spring; 
though to appearance, the juices remain in- 
active during that interval. 

" On these principles it will be an easy 
matter to account for the advantages which 
the wheat sown in August has over that sown 
later. The greater quantity of nourishment 
which it collects, renders the straw stronger 
and bigger, and yields larger and better-filled 
ears. The grain itself is also larger. This 
I have found to be invariably the case in all 
the comparisons I have made. 

" The strength of the straw is of great ad- 
vantage in being able to withstand storms, 
which would otherwise lay it. The most fer- 
tile parts of my land give sometimes forty or 
forty-four sheaves for one coupe sown. The 
com of this country, which is so thick as to 
yield that number of sheaves, is constantly 
laid by the first storm in June ; mine stands 
till harvest, though sometimes bent in the 
middle, so that the ears hang down; but this 
does not in the least diminish the crop. — ■ 
When the corn is exceedingly thick, as that in 
1741, it will be laid- That has happened 


but seldom. In order to prevent this incon- 
venience, our farmers take quite the contrary 
method. They sow later, and say, that by 
this means the corn grows thinner, the straw 
is shorter, and the ears lighter. But surely it 
is much wiser to make sure of a crop by 
rendering it more fruitful, than, by lefsening it, 
to prevent the danger. 

" I may ascribe to the same practice, the 
advantage I have enjoyed of having no smutty 
or otherwise diseased ears in my fields ever 
since I began to sow earlyj or at least but 
very few, when my neighbours have suffered 
therebv very much." 



On a Wine, called by the Tartars Konmijs. 

In an age like the present, when few thing;; 
in nature seem to have eluded the researches 
of philosophy, when the communications of 
learning are as well established as those of 
•commerce, it may appear somewhat surprising, 
tliat one of the most important productions of 
milk should still remain, in a great measure, 
unknown to the most enlightened parts of 

The production I mean is the vinous liquor 
which is procured by fermentation from mares 
milk. And it was scarcely to be expected, 
that, after it had escaped the observation of 
men the most skilled in chemistry, it should 
be taught us by a horde of Tartars, whose 
rank in society is not above that of barbarians. 

Even in Rufsia itself, it was with difficulty 
I could learn the particulars of the prepara- 
tion ; and though it has been used, for some 
ages, by several tribes of people who belong 

f^olume L N 


to that empire, yet, in the year 1781, when 
I first began to think of employing it in 
medicine, it was as little known in what may 
be called Rufsia proper ^ as it is now in Great 
Britain. If the academicians of St. Peters- 
burgh gave some accounts of it, these accounts 
have never excited the attention of the phy- 
sicians of Rufsia. 

This neglect is most probably to be ascribed, 
partly to the obscure relations of travellers, 
and partly to the pride of system, which men 
of learning are too often apt to indulge, in 
rejecting as incredible whatever does not co- 
incide with their own pre-conceived opinions. 

On consulting the authors who have made 
mention of this subject, I find, that they give 
little satisfactory information concerning it. 
Tlicy all agree, that a vinous liquor, from mares 
milk, was used by some of the Tartar nations, 
under the name of Koumifs ; but none of 
them enter into a detail of the procefs by 
which that wine was prepared, much Icfs 
does any one of them point out the purpose s, 
cither in economy or medicine, to which it 
may be applied. 

Marcus Paulus Venetus gives some account 


of it in his History of the Eastern nations*, 
wliich was published as long ago as the 
tiiirtcenth century. He says it was used by 
the Tartars as their common beverage, but 
makes no mention of the method of pre- 
paring it. 

Strahlenberg, in his description of the Rus- 
sian empire f, relates some circumstances of 
the preparation ; but his method, if followed, 
could not be attended with succefs ; for he 
mentions, that the Kalmucks take off the 
thick substance, which, in consequence of 
souring, rises to the top of the milk, and 
employ this in their food, while they use 
the remaining liquor either for drink or 
^ distillation. Now, this is not only contrary to 
the usage of that people, when they wish to 
obtain a fermented' liquor of any strength ; 
but experience proves, that no perfect fer- 
mentation can be produced, unlefs all the. 
parts of the milk be left united in their natural 

Gmelin, in his history of a tour which he 

* De Region. Oriental, lib, 1. cap. 57. 

f Beschreibung des Rufsichen Ueichs, p. 319. 



made through Siberia*, pays more attention tc^ 
the Tartar m thod of distilling a spirit from 
the wine of milk, than to the fermenting 
procefs by which that wine is procured. 

The latest writer that I find mentioning: 
Kmnnifs^ is the celebrated profefsor of natural 
history in St. Petersburgh, Dr. Pallas |. His 
account is as circumstantial as could well be 
expected from a traveller, whose object was 
natural history in general ; yet the principles 
on which the fermentation depends, as well as 
the mode of conducting the procefs, are not 
suiTxiently explained in his work. 

Tliese accounts, however imperfect, might 
have led philosophers, loi g before this time, 
to a discover}' of the true method of ferment- 
ing miilk, had net the writings of Newman^, 
an eminent German chemist, contributed to 
deceive them. He was himself imposed upon 
by one Lucas, a Dominican monk, uho 
ascribed its fermentation to the flour of ir.ilJet 

* Gmei'iL's Eeifse diircli Siberien, t. 1. p. £!73. 
f Phvi-icalish. Reise durch einig. provintz. des Rufsisch. 
Rticb, t. 1. p. 316. 

:j: Xewnian, Chem. expeiiinental. t. 1. part 2. p. 13. 


and the grains of barley, which, he said, the 
Tartars added to it, and to the wine-cask in 
which the operation was performed. New- 
man, it would seem, was unwilling to admit 
of the fcrmentability of milk, because it was 
contrary to the ideas he had entertained of an 
animal liquor ; and, therefore, adopting the 
opposite opinion, he seems glad to have an 
authority, however weak, to support it. 

Voltelen*, too, a chemist of Holland, 
affords a striking example, how easily men 
are misled, even in matters of science, by their 
own prejudices. He had no doubt of the 
existence of a fermentable principle in milk, 
inasmuch as it contained a certain quantity of 
a saccharine substance. He knew also, that 
the whey contained the sugar in solution ; it 
was on it, therefore, that he instituted his ex- 
. periments ; he added ev^en more sugar to the 
whey than the natural proportion ; but no 
vinous fermentation could, by any means, be 
produced in it. Nor did even his want of 
succefs undeceive him. He never once 
imagined, that the butyraceous and caseous 

* Observat. de lacte humauo cum asinino et ovillo com* 
parato, p. 54. 



parts of the milk were no lefs necefsary to its 
fermentation than the saccharine and serous. 

Even Macquer,inhisChemical Dictionary*, 
has fallen into an error of the same kind. — 
Speaking of whey, he says, " In whey is con- 
" tained difsolved, a considerable quantity of 
" extractive substance, of the nature of the 
" saccharine juices, and it is accordingly sus- 
*' ceptible of the spirituous fermentation. — 
*' The Tartars certainly make from it a 
*' spirituous drink, or kind of wine." From 
this it appears he had not made the ex- 

The following method of making Koumifs, 
is that which I adopted in my own practice 
with succefs. It is common among the 
Baschkir Tartars, who inhabit that part of the 
government of Orenhoiirg which lies between 
the rivers Kama and Volga. It was commu- 
nicated to miC bv a Rufsian nobleman, in 
whose case I was consulted, and who was the 
first who made use of it by my advice He 
went into that country on purpose to drink 
it ; and, as he resided for some time there, he 

■^ Macqucr Dictionary cf Chemistry, p. 432, 


could not be mistaken with respect to the 

Take of fresh mares milk, of one day, any 
quantity ; add to it a sixth part of water, and 
pour the mixture into a wooden vefsel j use 
then, as a ferment, an eighth part of the sourest 
cow's milk that can be got ; but, at any future 
preparation, a small portion of old Koumifs 
will better answ^er the purpose of souring ; 
cover the vefsel with a thick cloth, and set it 
in a place of moderate warmth ; leave it at rest 
twenty-four hours, at the end of which time, 
the milk will have become sour, and a thick 
substance will be gathered on the top ; then, 
with a stick, made at the lower end in the 
manner of a churnstafT, beat it, till the thick 
substance ^bovementioned be blended in- 
timately with the subjacent fluid : In this 
situation, leave it again at rest for twenty-four 
hours more 3 after which, pour it into a higher 
and narrow^er vefsel, resembling a churn, 
where the agitation must be repeated, as be- 
fore, till the liquor appear to be perfectly 
homogeneous ; and, in this state, it is called 
Koumifs; of which the taste ought to be 
a pleasant mixture of sweet and sour. Agita- 



tion must be employed every time before it be 

To this detail of the procefs, he subjoined, 
that in order to obtain milk in sufficient 
quantity, the Tartars have a custom of sepa-? 
rating the foal from the mare during the day, 
and allowing it to suck during the night. — ■ 
And, when the milk is to be taken from the 
mare, which is generally about five times 
a-day, they always produce the foal, on the 
supposition, that she yields her milk more 
copiously when it is present. 

To the above method of making Koumifs^ 
which I have translated as literally as pofsible 
from the original Ruffian manuscript now in 
my pofsefsion, i will add some- particulars, 
taken from oth^jr communications with which 
I was favoured by Tartars themselves. For 
though 1 think no addition necefsary to render 
it either more simple or more intelligible, yet 
I think it my duty to withhold nothing which 
may, in any wise, throw light on so efsentiaj 
a part of my subje<;:t. 

According to the account of a Tartar who 
lived to the south-east of Or^enbourg, the pro= 



portion of milk and souring ought to be the 
same as above ; only, to prevent changing the 
vcfsel, the milk may be put at once into 
a pretty high and narrow vefsel j and, in 
order to accelerate the fermentation, some 
warm milk may be added to it, and, if 
necefsary, more souring. 

From a Tartar whom I met with at the fair 
of Alacanejf upon the Volga, and from whom 
I purchased one of the leathern bags * which 
are used by the Kalmucks for the preparation 

* This bag was made of a horse's 
hide undreliied, and by having been 
smoked, had acquired a great de- 
gree of hardnefs. Its shape was 
conical, like the figure in the mar- 
gin, but was at the same lime, 
somewliat triangular, from being 
composed of three different pieces 
set in a circular base of the same 
hide. The sutures, which were 
made with ten'.l'..iis, were secured 
by a covering on the outside, with a doubling of the same 
skill, ver\ closely secured. It had a dirty appearance, 
and a very disagreeable smell. On being asked the rea- 
son of this, he said, " The remains of the old Koufiiifs 
" were left, in order to supply a ferment to the new 
t< milk." " ' 6 


and carriage of their Koiimifs, I learned, that 
the procefs may be much shortened by heat- 
ing the milk before the souring be added to 
it, and as soon as the parts begin to separate, 
and a thick substance to rise to the top, by 
agitating it every hour, or oftener. In thiis 
T\ay, he made some in my presence in the 
space of twelve hours. I learned also, that 
it was common, among some Tartars, to pre- 
pare it in one day during summer, and that 
with only two or three agitations j but that 
in winter, when, from a deficiency of mares 
milk, they are obliged to add a great propor- 
tion of that of cows, more agitation and more 
time are necefsary. And though it is com- 
monly used within a few days after the prepa- 
ration, yet, when well secured in close vefsels, 
and kept in a cold place, that it may be pre- 
served for three months, or even more, with- 
out any injur}' to its qualities. 

He said farther, that the acid fermentation 
might be produced by sour milk, as above, 
by a sour paste of rye-flour, by the rennet of 
a lamb's stomach, or, what is more common, 
by a portion of old Koinnifs; and that, in some 
places, they saved much time, by adding th^ 
new milk to a quantity of that already fer- 


mented, on being mixed with which, it very 
soon undergoes the vinous change It was 
according to the first procefs, howovor, that 
all the Koumifs which I have empIo}'ed in 
medicine v/as prepared. 

From all these accounts, it appears, that 
three things are efsential to the viiious fer- 
mentation of milk. These are heat, souring y 
and agitation. Heat is necefsary to every 
species of fermentation, and souring is perhaps 
pot lefs so, though not in so sensible a degree 
as in the present case ; but the chief art of 
fermenting milk consists in agitation. This 
last circumstance has wholly escaped the at- 
tention of chemists, notwithstanding it appears 
to be consonant to the operations of nature in 
other species of fermentation. In ferment- 
ing vegetable juices and infusions, nature has 
no need of the afsistance of art ; the intestine 
motion which accompanies the fermentation 
is sufficient to produce the degree of agitation 
which seems necefsary to keep the parts of 
the fluid in mutual contact, or to fit them for 
mutual action. Milk, on the contrary, is no 
sooner soured than a separation of its parts 
takes place ; the cream rises to the top, while 
the cheese either falls to th« bottom, or is sus- 


pended in the whey. When these parts are 
brought, however, into close contact with one 
another, by agitation, and this repeated at 
proper intervals, a vinous liquor is produced 5 
of the medical virtues of which I shall now 

From the time I had heard of Koumifs\ 
I had conceived an opinion of its importance 
in the cure of certain diseases. I judged, that 
a preparation of milk, which could not be 
curdled by the juices of the stomach, while, 
at the same time, it pofsefsed all its nutritive 
qualities, with the superaddition of a ferr 
mented spirit, might be of efsentiai service in 
all those disorders wliere the body is defective 
dther in nourishment or strength. 

The case of the above mentioned nobleman, 
who communicated to me the first procefs, 
gave me an opportunity of trying, how far my 
conjectures were well founded. He was in 
that state which seemed to me strongly to in- 
dicate the use of such a medicine as Koumifs, 
J accordingly advised him to it, 

At twenty-six years of age, he laboured 
under a complication of chronic complaints. 


A cdnfirmed lues venerea, injudiciously treated, 
with three succefsive salivations by mercury^ 
added to bad management of himself under 
these, had given rise to his disease. His body 
was much emaciated ; his face was of a livid 
yellow colour; his eyes were sunk, and round 
his eye-lids there was a dark shade ; he felt 
a severe pain in his breast, and that was 
accompanied with a considerable cough and 
mucous expectoration ; his appetite and di- 
gestion were greatly impaired ; he had fre- 
quent tremblings and faintings ; he began to 
feel the symptoms of hectic fever. In a word, 
his whole appearance was consumptive, and 
he was so weak that he required afsistance to 
get into the carriage in which he was to be 
conveyed into Tartary. 

xVfter drinking Koinnifs six weeks only, he 
returned perfectly free from all the above 
symptoms, and was become so plump and 
fresh -coloured, that, at first sight, it was with 
difficulty his friends could recognise him. As 
he did not come immediately to Nischne- 
Novogorod, where I then was, he wrote me 
a letter, the substance of which, as far as it 
related to this subject, I shall give here. 

After telling me the sudden and remarkable 


change the Koumifs had produced, during the 
first few days ; that he ceased to be disturbed 
in his sleep ; that his nervous and dyspeptic 
symptoms left him ; that he felt as if his 
vcfsels had been distended with a fresh cool- 
ing liquor ; that he became cheerful ; that it 
served him both for food and drink ; that 
though he used it to the quantity of a gallon 
and a half, and sometimes even more, in the 
twenty-four hours, yet he always drank it with 
pleasure, and without intoxication ; that his 
body, during its use, was regularly open ; but 
that his urine v.^as so much increased, that he 
was usually excited to make w^ater every 
hour: He proceeded to exprefs himself in the 
followino- strong terms, which serves to show 
how much he had proSted by it. 

" I am disposed to consider Koiimifs, (says 
" he) with all deference to you, as an universal 
" medicine, which will cure every disease, if 
" you do not choose to except fever ; for I am 
" persuaded, that the most skilful physician, 
" with all the drugs of the shop, could not 
" have restored me to the health I now 
" enjoy " 

The next case in which it was employed, 
though not so desperate as the former, gave 


sufficient proofs of its nutritive and strengthcn- 
qualities, A lady, who had been witnefs to 
its uncommon efficacy in the nobleman's case 
abovementioned, was encouraged to try it in 
her own. It was not convenient for her to go 
herself to Tartary, and therefore she had it 
sent to her, well secured in casks, during the 

She had been long subject to a train of 
nervous disorders. By these, she was much 
extenuated, and reduced to a state of extreme 
weaknefs and irritability. She used it for 
about a month, at the end of which time, the 
functions of her nervous system were restored, 
and, with health and vigour, she acquired 
a plumpnefs and fresh complexion. 

The following year, I resolved to try it at 
Nisch?ie'Novogo}vd under my own eye. As 
mares milk could not be obtained in sufficient 
quantity in town, it was made at the seat 
of a nobleman, not far distant, from which it 
w-as occasionally transported. The season 
was far advanced, however, before a case was 
presented, in which its efficacv might be tried. 
At last, about th - middle of Augu^t 1782, 
I was coiiaulted by the General Governor's 


nephew. He had all the symptoms of iii- 
cipient phthisis ;. pain of breast, dry cough, 
occasional hceraoptysis, and great emaciation ; 
he was not, however, become hectic. His 
two elder brothers had died of true pul- 
monary consumptions. He had taken much 
medicine, in a different part of the coun- 
try^ and had observed a very strict anti- 
phlogistic regimen; but though milk had con- 
stituted the greatest part of his diet, yet there 
were no signs of recovery. He drank 
Koumifs ioY about two months only, and that 
in rather an unfavourable season ; but the 
consequence was, that ail the above symptoms 
disappeared, and his flesh and strength re- 
turned ; nor was there any reason to appre- 
hend a relaps^e, at the time 1 left that country^ 

About the same time I advised its use to 
another yonng nobleman, who had laboured 
under an abscefs in the left side, about the 
region of the twelfth rib. As he had then 
resided in a remote part of the country, nd 
attention had been paid to it; on the contrary^ 
by improper application:-;, the sides of the ulcer 
were become hard. He had lost his flesh and 
strengtr ; he had occasional faintings ; and 
there were all the appearances of incipient 


hectic. By the use of Koiiinifs for about six 
%veeks, proper chirurgical drefsings being at 
the same time applied, his health was per- 
fectly re-established. 

There was some other cases in which I em- 
ployed it with equal succefs ; but of which, as 
being lefs important, I omit the detail. 

All those who drank it agreed in saying, 
that, during its use, they had little appetite 
for food; that they drank it in very large 
quantities, not only without disgust, but with 
pleasure ; that it rendered their veins turgid, 
without producing lariguor ; that, on the con- 
trary, they soon acquired from it an uncommon 
degree of sprightlinefs and vivacity ; that even 
in cases of some excefs, it was not followed 
by indigestion, headach, or any of the symp- 
toms which usually attend the abuse of other 
fermented liquors. To this may be added, 
that the Baschkir Tartars, who, towards the 
end of winter, are much emaciated, no sooner 
rettrm in summer to the use of Koumi/s, than 
they become strong and fat*. 

* The author of a historical description of ail the na- 
tions which compose the Rufsian empire, says, speaking 
of KouTfi'ifsy " Elle est fort nourifsante, et peut tenir lieu 

Volume L O 


From, all these circumstances, I think my- 
self entitled to infer, that this wine of mares 
milk may be applied to many of the purposes 
of medicine. From the mild acid which it 
contains, may it not be considered as a cooling 
antiseptic ? From its vinous spirit, may it not 
become an useful stimulant, cordial, and tonic ? 
And, from its oily and mucilaginous parts, 
may it not prove a valuable article of nourish- 
ment ? If chronic diseases, as is generally 
allowed, depend on a debility of the solids ; 
and if they are difficult of cure, because the 
organs, which ought to supply the body with 
nourishment and strength, do not only them- 
selves partake of the general weaknefs, but 
are too often, by the indigestible nature of the 
food with which they are overcharged, still 
more debilitated ; may not a substance of easy 
digestion, which at once strengthens the 
stomach and nourishes the body, become 
a powerful remedy in all such cases ? 

And if acute diseases, especially of the 

" de tout autre aliment. Les Baschkirs s'en trouvent 
*' tr^s bien, elle les rend bienportans et gais; elle leur 
*' donne de I'erobonpoint, et de bonnes, couleurs." — 
Descri/i, de tout, la Nai. de FEmJi. Rii/s. t. 2./;. 1 18. 


fcbfil(i kind, are frequently attended with 
symptoms of weaknefs and putridity, may it 
not be found, from its antiseptic and tonic 
powers, to be an useful corrector of the one, 
and a restorative for the other ? 

Alay not the sudden change it produced* in 
the ^^rsi case, in the state of the patient's feel- 
ings, and especially of his sleep, point it out 
as of use in all cases of excefsive irritabiHty ? 

May not the effect it had in restoring his 
stomach to its functions, recommend it in 
dyspepsia? and may not the vigour and. 
plumpnefs which ensued from its use, indicate 
it in cases even of confirmed atrophy ? 

Have we not reason to believe, that it may 
be used to advantage in the cure of nervous 
disorders in general, from the manner in 
which it operated in the second case ? And in 
the incipient, perhaps even in the advanced 
stages of phthisis, from the rapid and effectual 
change it occasioned in the pulmonary symp- 
toms of the third ? 

And may not its efficacy in the fourth case, 
encourage us to employ it in all cases of suppu- 



ration or ulcer, in which the body is threatened 
with hectic fever ? 

Whether alF these questions can be an- 
swered in the affirmative, must be determined 
by future experience ; and, if they should, 
perhaps the scarcity of mares milk in this coun- 
try would greatly circumscribe its utility. 

Hence inquiries will naturally be made, 
T^'hether other species of milk admit of a 
similar vinous fermentation, and what propor- 
tion of spirit they contain. As these have 
never been the object, however, of my atten- 
tion, I will here give the substance of what 
I have been able to learn from others respect- 
ing that which is the most common, the milk 
of cows. 

Dr. Pallas*, in tlie work above quoted, 
says, that cows milk is also susceptible of the 
vinous fermentation, and that the Tartars pre- 
pare a wine from it in winter, when mares milk- 
fails them ; that the wine prepared from- cows 

* Physicalisch. Reife durcli verschied. provintz. dcs 
Rufsisch. Reichs, t. 1. p. 3l«. et 517- 


milk, they call Airen ; but that they always 
prefer Koionifs when it can be got, as it is 
more agreeable, and contains a greater quan- 
tity of spirit; that Koumifs on distillation 
yields of a weak spirit one-third, but that 
Airen yields only two-ninth parts of its whole 
quantity ; which spirit they call Arika, 

This account is confirmed by Oseretskowsky, 
a Rufsian* who accompanied J^epechin, and 
other academicians, in their travels through 
Siberia and Tartary. He published la-teJy 
a Difsertation on the ardent spirit to be ob- 
tained from cows milk. 

From his experiments^ it appears, that cows 
milk may be fermented with, or even vvithoiitp 
souring, provided sufficient time and agitation 
be employed ^ that no spirit could be pro- 
duced from any one of its constituent parts 
taken separately, nor from any two of them, 
unlcfs inasmuch as they were mixed with 
some part of the third ; that the milk, witb 
all its parts in their natural proportion, was 
the most productive of it; that the closer it 

* Specim. inaiig. de Spir. Ardent, ex lact. Bub, 
Argentorat. 1778. 



was kept, or, which is the same thing, the 
more difficultly the fixed air is allowed ta 
escape during the fermentation, (care being 
taken, however, that we do not endanger the 
bursting of the vefsel,) the more spirit is 
obtained. He also informs us, that it had a 
sourer smell before than after agitation , that 
the quantity of spirit was increased, by allow- 
ing the fermented liquor to repose for some 
time before distillation ; that from six pints of 
milk, fermented in a close vefsel, and thus set 
to repose, he obtained three ounces of ardent 
spirit, of which one was consumed in burning ^ 
but that from the same quantity of the same 
milk, fermented in an open vefselj he could 
scarcely obtain one ounce^ 

These particulars of the fermentation of 
mares and cows milk are an interesting ad- 
dition to the facts concerning fermentation 
in general; a subject so very obscure and im- 
perfectly understood, that I shall not hazard 
any remarks on it. My principal intention was, 
to point out to physicians what appears to me 
a powerful means which may be employed 
by them on many occasions in the cure of 



Qii the Conmctmi ktween Botmi/i and Agricidtm-e, 

y. HE justly celebrated 1.,'nnaeus, in his 
Amaenitates Academicae, ha- traced out the 
dependence which Agriculture has upon 
Botany, in a very masterly manner He 
wishes the farmer to revive that old useful 
custom of observing the times of budding, 
leafing, and flowering of plants and trees, 
because these appearances seem to have been 
designed by Providence as our surest guides 
in conducting rural matters. They ascertain 
the exact times for sowing, planting, and 
reaping. They are the best thermometers 
(if I may be allowed the exprefsion) which 
we can use, ifter they have been regulated 
^nd confirmed by experience. 

If we look into the annals of history we 
may remark, that many nations have observed 
certain periods for sowing, planting, and reap- 
ing, confirmed by the appearance of leaves on 

Q 4 


particular trees, or the migration of birds, 
which almost invariably corresponds with the 
leafing of those trees. 

There seems nothing unreasonable in sup- 
posing the vegetable and animal world an 
excellent lefson to the rational. In the sacred 
history we are told, that the Stork in the 
heavens hiozveth her appointed times j and the 
turtle^ and the crane^ and the swfilloWi obsei^e 
the time of their coming; and we are reminded 
that the leafing of the fig-tree usually deter- 
mines the approach of summer. 

It is curious to see how steadily the antients 
have adhered tp these principles. Theophrastus, 
that parent of natural knowledge ! has left us 
many remarks of this kind, which Hesiod has 
much improved. But no one, since Hesiod's 
time, considered the matter in its proper, 
light, till the great Linnjeus started forth to 
be nature's more refined historian. 

Among other things, Hes'od says, " That 
jf it should happen to rain three days when 
the cuckoo sings, then late sowing will be as 
good as early sowing. That when snails be- 
gin to cfeep out of their holes, and clinqb up 


the plants, you must leave off digging about 
the vines, and take to pruning. That when 
the crane is heard, the tipie of ploughing 
comes on." 

Dr. Linnaeus obser\''es that, in Sweden, the 
** wood anemone blows from the arrival of the 
swallow, and that the marlh marigoI4 blows 
when the cuckoo sings. That barley h sowi^ 
when the birch tree leafs." 

These are sufficient propfs to convince us, 
that if the improvers of agriculture considered 
botany as a necefsary illustration of it, we 
should be likely to advance our discoveries 
still higher in the scale of perfection. Indeed, 
to do justice to the present age, our improve- 
ments in agriculture seem to be built more 
firmly upon the foundation of philosophy and 
natural knowledge ; a mode of proceeding 
which will undoubtedly be productive of the 
most pleasing consequences. For, by taking 
nature as a guide, the farmer may adjust his 
times of sowing and reaping with more cer- 
tainty. He may frequently insure a good 
crop, by keeping his seed in the granary, till 
nature has pointed out a proper time for sow- 
ing it, 


In Sweden^ the study of Agriculture is 
much in fashion. And I date the asra of those 
refined improvements from the time that Lin,- 
nceus held out his discoveries to public view.' 
He has himself made observations of these 
kinds in every country he examined. And he 
gives us a list of a great number of different 
persons he employed to communicate to him 
the result of similar experience. The only 
experiment of this kind made in England, is 
by the ingenious Mr. Stillingfleet, at Stratton> 
in Norfolk, in the year 1755, 

If we would derive any benefit from these 
kalendars of Flora, they should be made iri 
every material variation of latitude, and should 
be made for three or four years at the least ^ 
that the forwardnefs or backwardnefs of some 
chance seasons might still be considered as ex- 
ceptions only to a general rule. With these 
helps, I can scarcely imagine the farmer ig- 
norant of the time of budding, leafing, flower- 
ing, sowing, and reaping of any individual 
plant or grafs in the whole extensive field of 

Some general knowledge of astronomy 
might likewife be of use in farther confirming 


these periods for sowing and planting. It is 
beyond a doubt, that the ancient husband- 
men esteemed their practice not complete 
without it. Virgil begins his Georgics with 
the same thought : 

Quid faciat la;tas segetes ; quo sidere terrain 
Vcrtere, Mxccnas, ulmisqiie adjungcre vite?, 

Conveniat : ■ . 

Hinc canere incipiam. 

Another grand use of botanical knowledge 
to the farmer, would terminate in this point: 
That as a kalendar of Flora would acquaint 
him with the duration and existence of most 
plants ; so he would be better able, in general, 
to suit the produce to the nature of his soil. 

It is a just matter of wonder in this im- 
proving age, that so little attention should be 
paid to the laying down our meadow and 
pasture grounds. The quantity of land that 
is annually laid down makes an attention to 
this branch of rural economy efsentially ne- 
cefsary. Every farmer knows how to suit his 
grain to the quality of his soil, but few are ac- 
quainted with the nature and disposition of 
the grafses that cover the field. The surfiice 
of the earth is clothed with a pleasing and 


necefsary variety of grafses. Some delight in 
a moist soil ; others prefer a dry situation ; 
and 'yet so little do we observe this order 
of nature, that grafs-seeds of all kinds, good 
and bad, are promiscuously sown upon the 
same soil. A small degree of reflection will us that vegetables, as well as animals, 
have a choice of soil. Therefore to stock our 
warm and dry lands with seeds produced 
upon wet meadows, is no lefs absurd than if 
the farmer was to bring down his sheep into 
the marshes^ and send his bullocks to the 

Of late there has been much encourage- 
ment given to the collecting grafses by hand. 
It is here that the botanist becomes useful to 
the farmer. He knows from his kalendar of 
of Flora what plants blow together, and if a 
a mixture is required, can tell what species 
will render that mixture agreeable. For this 
useful purpose a small degree of botanical 
knowledge is required. Nature is ever con- 
stant and uniform with herself. She points 
out to us the plants peculiar to every soil, if 
we could be prevailed upon to trace her along 
the walk she delights to tread. 


It is not an unusual thing to see a piece of 
excellent land over-run with wild ranunculus 
and coarse grafses. In that state it cannot 
maintain a ^tock in proportion to the good- 
nefs of the soil. Other lands of a much worse 
quality, by being laid down with a more 
judicious choice of seeds, are found to pro- 
duce larger and more profitable crops of 
grafs. This consideration ought to awaken 
the attention of the farmer to a more skilful 
method of laying down his lands. 

In the present situation of things, the farmer 

is liable to the imposition of the seedsman. 

It he purchases the seeds of weeds, he must- 
expect a plentiful crop of them in return for 
the painful care that he has taken of his lands. 
This inconvenience, however, may, in some 
degree, be removed by the help of botanical 
knowledge. Let the farmer examine the 
seeds well before he buys them. If he has 
rnade himself conversant with the shape and 
appearance of the seeds of natural and good - 
grafses, and also of the seeds of such weeds as 
infest the meadows, he will find it easy and 
familiar to determine the goodnefs of the 
sample shown him. Nay, he may discover 
with certainty whether the seeds grew upon 


a wet or dry soil, and consequently may avoid 
the mischief that arises from not suitin£c the 
seeds to the nature of the soil. 

It is not onlv curious, but necefsarv, for the 
practical farmer to be able to find out the 
natural taste of his cattle. Of this he may 
soon make himself acquainted, without enter- 
ing deeply into the science of botany. Cows, 
horses, and sheep, all differ in their tastes, and 
are more partial to one sort of grafs than 
another. And no wonder, when every plant 
delights in its proper soil ; nay, every insect 
has its own peculiar plant to feed upon. 

Linnseus reckons up above two thousand 
experiments, made by himself and his friends, 
on the tastes of animals. He gives us tables 
not only of the number of plants each animal 
eats or refuses, but the names of the plants 
themselves. The former may be grateful to 
the reader, but the latter would not con- 
veniently come within the compafs of this 

Oxen cat 27() refuse 218 plants. 

Goats - 449 - - 126 

Sheep - 387 - - 141 

Horses - 262 - - 212 

Swine - 72 - - 171 

1446 86S 


If this plan was pursued, we should not hear 
the farmer so often complain that his pastures 
are overrun with rough barren grafses, which 
the cattle will not eat. In most pastures we 
do not observe above half of the grafs eaten. 
The fact is this, that from neglecting the 
material point of suiting the palates of our 
cattle, grafses odious to the taste, and barren 
in themselves, overrun and destroy the good. 

f'" It would both be superfluous, and extend- 
ing this efsay to a tedious length, to reckon 
up such grafses as are barren in themselves. 
But the following are the most prevalent in 
our meadow and pasture grounds. The carex 
tribe chiefly infest the moist parts of our 
meadows. The bent and hard meadow 
grafses overrun both meadow and pasture 
grounds. The mat-grafs is injurious to sheep- 
walks. And the quick-grafs is troublesome to 
the farmer in the extreme. 



On the Nature and Properties of Mart 

J.N many parts of this island the value of land 
has of late been greatly raised by the applica- 
tion of marl. It is divided into shell-marl and 
earth-marl Shell-marl is composed of animal 
shells difsolved. Earth-marl is a fofsil. ItJf 
colour is various 5 white, black, blue, red.-^ 
Its hardnefs is as various as its colour ; some- 
times it is soft and ductile like clay ; some- 
times it is hard and solid like stone; and 
sometimes it is extended into thin beds like 
slate. Shell-marl is easily distinguished by the 
shells which always appear in it. But the 
similarity betwixt earth-marl and many other 
fofsil fubstances, renders it difficult to dis- 
tinguish them. 

Marls, like all the subjects of the mineral 
kingdom, differ in their degrees of purity.— 
But how to discover, with certainty, the 
purity of any given marl, is not generally 


From these circumstances we must con- 
clude, that marl, though a substance of in- 
estimable value, hath scarce ever been the 
subject of an attentive inquiry. 

In this efsay it is proposed, first to analyse 
the different marls, as newly dug from the 
ground ; and afterwards to examine what 
changes they suffer from being exposed to the 


The most known properties of marl are, its 
(effervescing with acids and fertilizing the soil 
to which it is applied*. By these two pro- 

* Dr. Hill, in his v'olume upon Fofslls, has ranked 
among marls many substances which do not effervesce 
with acids. But I cannot see by what reason such an 
arrangement can be justified. Perhaps all the substances 
which we find in the c!a(s of marls have, with advantage 
been employed in agriculture. But that is not sufficient. 
We know that pure clay itself, applied to certain soils, 
produces the most happy effects. All Dr. Hill's non- 
efiervescent marls are pofsefsed of the distinguishing pro- 
perties of clay: and therefore ought in justice to be 
ranked among the argillaceous bodies. After com- 
paring this author's definition of marl with his defini- 
tion of clay and bole, I can fix upon no particular 

Volume I, P 


perties I was directed in the prosecution o^ 
my Inquiry. 

Among the subjects of the mineral king-* 
dom, some are soluble in water, some not. — 
Of the first, one only, the fofsil alkali, is- 
pofsefsed of properties similar in any degree 
to those of marl. For this salt, which is 
collected principally along the coasts of the 
Mediterranean sea, effervesces violently with 
acids, and has been time immemorial, in the 
highest esteem as a manure. From these 
circumstances it might be suspected, /-that 
a very intimate affinity subsists betwixt this 
alkali and marl, and that the similar effects of 
both these substances proceed from the same 
cause. To satisfy mjyseif with regard to this 
particular, I miade the two following ex- 

character by which the first of these substances may, with 
certainty, be distinguished from the other two. Marl 
seems, by his definition, to differ from (lay and bole in 
degree of visciditj only. But how shall the degree of 
viscidity which constitutes a clay, or a marl, or a bole, be 
ascertained? A very considerable number of earth-marls of a stony hardnefs; but all marls, by Dr. Iliil's de- 
iinition, cohere slit^htlv. 


Experiment I. 

Two drachms of clay-marl, newly dug from 
the pit, were put into an ounce of water, and 
for twelve hours digested with a considerable 
heat. The marl, when separated by filtration 
and dried, retained precisely its orginal weight. 
The digested water was devoid of taste and 
smell, and suffered no change from the ad- 
dition of syrup of violets, or the acid of 
nitre. The event was in every respect the 
same, when a quantity of the same marl was 
boiled in water for a considerable time. — 
ISIany varieties of clay, stone, and slate marls 
were treated in the same manner, with the 
same appearances. 


Two drachms of newly dug shell-marl, free 
from mofs, fragments of putrid wood, &c. and 
previously dried, were digested as in the first 
experiment. The marl neither lost any of its 
original weight, nor communicated to the 
water any thing discoverable by the trials 
mentioned above. The appearnnces were the 
same when this marl was boiled in water*. 

* Caution is here necefsiry. Shell-marl not only con- 
tains many separate fragments of putrid wood, but i: 


228 geoRgical essays. 

From these experiments it is evident, tliat 
no salt, similar to the fofsil alkah, is contained 
in marl. For all natural salts, of an alkaline 
quality^ are distinguished by their easy solu- 
bility in water, by effervescing with acids in 
the same manner when difsolved, as before 
solution, and by converting the colour of blue 
or purple vegetable infusions into green. — 
But marl, neither when digested, nor when 
Boiled in water, communicates any of its sub- 
stance to that fluid; therefore contains nothing 
soluble by it, nor any salt of an alkaline, or 
any other nature. Besides, none of the waters 
filtered from the marls in the preceding ex- 
periments, suffered any change from the in- 
stillation of the nitrous acid, or of the syrup of 

also very commonly mixed with parts of the mofsy 
stratum, under which it is generally found. If marl, 
containing cither of these substances, is employed in the 
preceding experiment, it never tails to communicate 
a bitternefs and peruliar smell to the water. Besides 
these properties, tiiis water, upon the addition of any 
alkaline solution, acquires a milky hue, and lets fall 
a small quantity of a white powder. That these effects 
procecfl solely from the heterogeneous bodies mixed with 
the marl, is evident from this, that shell-marl when per- 
fectly pure, and freed by evaporation from mofsy water^ 
never comniunicates any perceptible quality to water in 
which it is digested. 


violets. From these circumstances it is mani- 
fest, that marl does not contain the smallest 
proportion of an alkaline salt. And, as no 
other salt will account for the phjenomena, 
this, added to some particulars mentioned 
above, renders any farther search for a saline 
substance in marl unnecefsary. 


Being satisfied with regard to this particu- 
lar, the affinity betwixt calcarious earths and 
marl next occurred to me. Calcarious earths 
effervesce with acids, are remarkable for their 
fertilizing properties, and cannot, in a natural 
state, be difsolved by water. So far they agree 
exactly with marl. But their most charac- 
teristicalqualitiesare, their difsolving entirely in 
the mineral acids, and calcining to quick-lime. 
By these two properties such earths may be 
distinguished wherever they occur. 

With a view to the apparent affinity betwixt 
calcarious earths and marl, I made the follow- 
ing experiments. 

Experiment III, 

To a drachm of newly-dug stone-marl, re- 
duced to powder, I gradually added the mu- 



riatic acid, till no further effervescence ensued 
upon the addition. This mixture, diluted with 
a sufficient quantit. of water, wa thrown into 
a filter of grey paper: A pure pellucid liquor 
pafsed through, and a grofs earthy substance 
remained behind at the bottom of the filter. 
This substance, when properly washed and 
dried, weighed just eighteen grains. 

In this experim.ent, we find the marl divi- 
ded into two different parts ; the one carried, 
off by the muriatic acid, and invisioly suspend- 
ed in it ; the other an earthy substance, on 
which that acid seems to have no influence. 
Havmgadvancedthusfarin the de-composition 
of our subject, the next step is to examine 
into the nature of these i Vv'o constituent parts. 


Experiment IV. 

The substance which remained in the filter, 
pofscfsed, almost in every respect, the proper- 
ties of clay. In drying, it concreted into a 
mafs of considerable hardnefs; made no effer- 
vescence widi any oi the acids j fell down and 
diffused readily in water; and was, by the 
action of fire, converted into a reddish-coloured 
"brick. Twenty grains of such a substance. 


extracted from the same marl, gave, by elu- 
triation*, five grains of sand. Hence the na- 
ture of the unsoluble part of this marl is abun- 
dantly evident. 

It must be remarked, hov^^ever, that neither 
the quantity nor composition of this unsoluble 
part is, in any two marls, precisely the same. 
Clay, or clay and sand, are, it is true, the con- 
stituent parts of it in all marls f ; but the dif- 
ferent proportions, in which these are mixed 
with the soluble part, are almost infinite. 


The residue of a drachm of clay-marl, which 
was easily diffusible in water, weighed forty 
grains, and consisted of equal portions of clay 
and fine sand. 

*This term is applied to the separation of clay from 
sand by means of water, 

f It must be observed, tliat the residue of all or most 
marls contains, besides clay alTd sand, a considerable num- 
ber of flat shining particles. These particles are unso- 
luble in acids, as is evident from their remaining in the 
residue. Few of them suffer any diminution of lustre in 
the fire. Whence they appear to be flakes of foliaceous 




A drachm of another clay-marl containecj 
fifteen grains of unsoluble matter, which was 
altogether clay. 


Forty grains of a smooth laminated marl af- 
forded eight grains of a clay residuum. 


The residue of forty grains of a stone-marl 
■weighed twelve grains, a third of which wa? 


A drachm of another stone-marl gave only 
nine grains of unsoluble matter, mostly clay. 


The residue of forty grains of another stone- 
marl* weighed sixteen grains, thirteen of 
which were sand. 

* I have here given the name of marl to some sub* 
stances which perhaps, in strict language, ought to gq 
under another denomination ; but they are generally ac- 
counted marls, and employed as such indiscriminately 
with the marly strata contiguous to them. 



A drachm of a friable slate-marl afforded a 
residuum of eighteen grains of yellow sand. 


A drachm of lime stone contained twelve 
grains of unsoluble matter, which was altoge- 
ther sand. 


A drachm of another limestone gave only six 
grains of residue, which appeared to be a slime. 


A drachm of shell-marl, dug out at the 
depth of two feet from the surface, containe4 
thirty-six grains of unsoluble matter, which ac-r 
quired little cohesion by drying, and conii;^tcd 
in a great measure of a very fine sand. 

These are the most remarkable differences 
that have hitherto occurred to me in examining 
the residua of diilerent marls. I thought it ne- 
cefsary to give a detail of them, both because 
the composition of the unsoluble part of our 
subject is thereby demonstrated, and because 
^he preceding experiments will afterwards 


serve to explain a difficulty which would not 
Otherwise admit of an easy solution. 


We must now return to the pellucid liquor 
which pafsed through the filter in Experiment 
III. As this liquor contains, in an invisible 
state, the substance which, in combination 
with the part examined in Section III. com- 
posed the original marl, if w-e can discover the 
nature of that substance, the nature and com- 
position of marl will of consequence be evident. 

An alkaline salt, added to the solution of any 
other substance in an acid liquor, instantly pre- 
cipitates that substance. The part of the marl 
difsolved and carried off by the muriatic acid 
in Experiment III. had no affinity to an alka- 
line salt * ; therefore a salt of this nature, add- 
ed to that solution, cannot fail to separate from 
it the soluble part of our subject, and conse- 
quently to give us an opportunity of examining 
it to greater advantage. 

Experiment XV. 
With this view, the fore-mentioned filtered 

* See Expel-. I. U. 


liquor was mixed with a small quantity of a 
solution of salt of tartar.' The mixture became 
immediately milk.}' and turbid ; but in a short 
time recovered its transparency by the copious 
precipitation of a whitish powder. More of 
the alkaline solution was then added j and as 
a new lactescency and precipitation ensued, the 
addition was from time to time repeated, till 
it produced no such effect. Then it was evi- 
deni-, that whatever the acid had carried off 
from the marl, was now thrown to the bottom. 
The precipitated powder, when separated by 
filtration, washed and dried, weighed precisely 
forty-tvA^o grains ; which, added to the eighteea 
grains of unsol.ublc matter in Experiment III. 
makes up the original v/cight of the marl em- 
ployed in that experiment. This powder v/as 
altogether insipid j suffered no change from 
water ; and was, after a very brisk efferves- 
cence, totally difsolved both by the acid of 
nitre and of sea salt. 

The liquors filtered off from the unsoluble 
matters in all the experiments related in Section 
III. were separately treated in the manner de- 
scribed above, and in every respect v\ ith the 
same appearances : Particularly the weight of 
each of the precipitated powder^, added to that 


of its respective residue, equalled, with remark- 
able exactnefs, the original weight of the marj 
from which it had been extracted. 


These precipitated powders are totally so^ 
luble in acid spirits ; for it was by this solution 
that we obtained their separation from the 
other parts of the marls in which they existed. 
The knowledge of this single property, how- 
ever, is not sufficient to determine their nature. 
The changes produced upon them by the action 
of fire must be also considered. 

Experiment XVI. 

For this purpose seventy grains of powder, 
extracted, in the manner described above, from 
the marl of Experiment III. were for two 
hours detained in a strong fire. The weight of 
the powder was thereby reduced to forty grains, 
and its colour from white changed to grey or 
ashy. When water was poured upon this cal- 
cined substance, many air-bubbles rose to the 
surface with a hifsing noise, and as strong a 
lime-water was in a short time produced as I 
had ever obtained from any quick-lime. 

Tlie calcination of the powders extracted 
from the other marls wa5 attended, in every 


circumstance, with the same succefs ; that 
from shel]-marl not excepted. 

From these experiments, I think, the nature 
of marl is sufficiently evident *. Marl con- 
sists of two parts, pofsefsed of very opposite 
qualities. The one, clay, or a mixture of clay 
and sand , the other, a substance soluble in 
acids, convertible by calcination into quick- 
lime, and consequently a real calcaneus earth, 
differing in no respect from the calcarious 
earth of lime-stone and the shells of animals f. 

* Here it may be asked, if such is the composition of 
all earth-marls, whence comes it, that some earths of that 
kind, or what strongly resembles them, arc so destruciive 
to the growth of vegetables? In answer to this it must 
be remarked, that many fofsils, differing widely in their 
Mature from marl, have frequently, from resemblance, 
been employed as marl. Among the fofsils of this country, 
is oft-times found a species of the Pyrites, La/iis atramen- 
40SUS of Cramer, which in colour nearly ressmbles some of 
the earth-marls. I have seen a bed of this which con. 
tained a considerable proportion of calcarious earth. It 
may occur among beds of marl ; but, whenever it is em- 
ployed in agriculture, its effects must be unfavourable. 

f The very efsence of marl seems to consist in this 

earth j for that name is bestowed on no substance that 

does not contain an earth of this nature. However all 

bodies, into whose composition calcarious earth enters, 

do not fall under the denomination of marl. To entitle 


From the foregoing experiments it is also 
manifest, that the nature of clay-marls, stone- 
iTiarls, and slate-marls, is altogether the same. 
Tor marls of equal purity, and consisting of the 
same proportions of constituent earths, are 
found under all these different appearances. 
Different names have been affixed to them, 
from their different degrees of hardnefs, and 
the different dispositions of the beds into which 
they are extended. But from what cause pro- 
ceeds the diversity in the cohesive power of 
marls, equal in the proportions of their consti- 
tuent parts, is difficult to say. 

It appears from the experiments related in 
Section III. that, in different marls, the pro- 
portion of the calcarioiis to the other earths is 
not always the same. As this diversity m.ay 
probably render a choice of marls for particu- 
lar soils, if not neccf^ary, at least beneficial, a 
more minute account than that formerly given, 
of the procefs for discovering the proportion of 
earths contained in any marl, m.ay not be im- 

them lo this, they must fliH into powder upon being ex- 
posed to tlie air. Hence, the purity of niarls will be in 
proportion to the quar.tity of calcarlous earth in tlieir 


Having dried and powdered the marl to be 
examined, pour upon any given weight of it a 
small quantity of water. To this mixture, 
well shaken, add a little of the acid of sea salt*, 
and when the consequent effervescence is over, 
add a little more. Repeat this addition at 
proper intervals till no more effervescence en- 
sues. Then throw the wholc^ with an equal 
or greater proportion of water, into a filter of 
grey paper, whose weight is known. When 
all the fluid parts have pafsed through, fill up 
the filter, again and again, with warm water. 
By this means the difsolved particles of calca-- 
rious earth, adhering to the residue, or en- 
tangled in the pores of the paper, will be 
washed away, and nothing but what is really 
unsoluble will remain in the filter. This re- 
siduum with the filter must be completely 

*'Any mineral acid may be employed with equal ad- 
vantage, the vilnolic excepted. For, though this acid 
etfervesces violently with all marls, it does not difsolve 
their calcarious earths ; it only forms %vith them a whitish 
coagulum, which will not pafs through the filter. In 
any trials that I have hitherto made with the ve- 
getable acid, I have not been able by its means to ex- 
tract all the calcarious earth contained in any marl. For, 
after the usual filtration, the residuum always efFervescel 
violently with the mineral acids. 


dried and weighed. Then the difference be-» 
twixt its weight, and the original weight of 
the filter, gives you the weight of unsoluble 
parts contained in the marl under examination. 
This being known, the proportion of calcari- 
ous earth in the same marl is evident. The 
proportions of clay and sand in it are dis- 
covered by subjecting the residuum' io a pro- 
per elutriation. This operation is very simple, 
and performed thus : Having weighed the dry 
residue, mix and shake it well with a sufficient 
quantity of water. After allowing a little 
time for the subsidence of the grofser parts, 
let the water, with the finest particles of clay 
suspended in it, be gently poured off. When 
this is done, add more water to the remainder, 
and, after sufficient mixture and subsidence, 
pour that off likewise. In the same mannet 
repeat the operation, again and again, till the 
water comes over perfectly^ pure. The sub- 
stance which then remains is sand, mixed, 
perhaps, with some flakes of talc ; and what- 
ever this substance wanti of the weight of the 
residue employed, is the weight of pure clay 
carried away by the water in the procefs of 

It may be here observed, that the efFervea- 


cencc ensuing upon the application of acids to 
marl, cannot be relied upon as a certain indi- 
cation of the quantity of calcarious earth con- 
tained in such substances. Numerous in- 
stances of the truth of this afsertion have oc- 
curred to me. For the effervescence varies, 
both in violence and duration, according to 
the strength of the acid employed ; but it varies 
still more according to the penetrability and 
other more secret circumstances of the cal- 
carious bodies. 


I next examined what effects fire would 
produce upon marl in its natural state. As 
many marls contain a very considerable pro- 
portion of calcarious earth, I expected that 
nearly the same changes would be produced 
upon them by calcination, as upon lime-stone. 

Experiment XVII. 

A piece of the marl of Experiment III. 
^weighing eighty grains, was kept in a strong 
fire for two hours. Its weight was thereby 
reduced to fifty-two grains, and its colour, 
from a blueish white, changed to a reddish 
brown. Its hardnefs was at the fame time 

Volume L Q 


considerably augmented; and though, when 
immersed in it's natural state into water, it gra- 
dually relented and fell down into powder; yet 
now it neither suffered any change from that 
fluid, nor communicated to it any thing per- 
ceptible by the sight, taste, or smell. Not- 
withstanding this, when it was reduced to pow- 
der *, it afforded, upon the affusion of water,, 
as pungent lime-water as any quick-lime could 


The marl of Experiment VI. by burning loft" 
near a third of its weight, and acquired a very 
remarkable hardnefs. When put into water 
in this state, it did not relent in the smallest 
degree, though naturally it difsolved readily in 
it. The laminated marl of Experiment VII. 
suffered precisely the same changes from burn- 

* The pulverization of all burnt marls, that contain 
any considerable proportion of clay, is absolutely necef- 
sary to extract' a lime-water from them. Inattention to 
this circumstance has, I believe, produced some mistakes. 
When shell-marl is burnt, pulverization is seldom re- 
quisite; because this substance being naturally of a 
loose and spungy texture, and acquiring little cohesion 
in the fire, allows the water an easy accefs to its calcari- 
ous earth. 



The marl of Experiment VII t. when burnt 
and thrown into water, did not fall freely into 
powder, but loosened into pieces, which easily- 
yielded to the prefsure of the finger. This 
marl, before burning, difsolved very slowly in 


The marls of Experiment IX. X. XI. suf- 
fered, in their natural state, scarce any per- 
ceptible change from water; but, when suffi- 
ciently burnt, they swelled and fell down in 
water like lime-stone. 


A drachm of shell-marl. Experiment XIV. 
was, by burning, reduced to forty-two grains, 
and then spontaneously yielded a strong lime- 

From these experiments it appears, that the 
calcarious earth of marl is equally calcinable 
to quick-lime, whether it is exposed to the ac- 
tion of fire before or after its separation from 
the other earths. 



It is now sufficiently evident, that the nature 
of marl * has a very intimate affinity to that of 
lime-stone. A gentle gradation from the one 
to the other of these substances may be easily 
traced out J but it will be difficult, I believe, 
to establish the precise limits of either. Both 
of them are found in continued strata; both 
of them difsolve in part, with considerable ef- 
fervescence, in acids; and both of them yield 
by calcination a quick-lime In the foregoing 
experiments, however, two very remarkable 
differences occur: By being exposed to the 
air, marl' falls down into dustj lime-stone re- 
tains its original stability. On the contrary, 
after undergoing the action of fire, lime-stone 
is reduced to powder by the application of 
water; marl suffers ho such change. This 
diversity cannot, with justice, be ascribed to 
the different proportions of calcarious earth in 
these two bodies. For the marl of Experi- 
ment VII. did not contain lefs of this than the 
lime-stone of Experiment XII. and in the 
marls of Experiments III. VI. VII. the pro- 

* By marls I mean such calcarious substances as are 
visibly reduced to powder by influence of air and moisture. 
Such only are real marls. Others, as those of Experi- 
ments IX. X. XI. decline towards lime-stone. 


portion of this earth was. considerably greater 
than in the marls of Experiments X. XL; yet, 
after sufficient burning, the latter relented in 
water, the former did not. Nay, when a part 
of a bed of stone, which contained only one- 
third of calcarious earth, was calcined and put 
into water, it instantly fell down into powder; 
whereas marl, containing four-fifths of calcari- 
ous earth, underwent no such change from 
the same treatment. 

The cause of the difference then must be 
sought for in the unsoluble part of these sub- 
stances. Upon comparing the Experiments 
related in Sections III. and VI. I observe that 
all the residua^ consisting of any considerable 
proportion of sand, were extracted from sub- 
stances which, in a natural state, suffered veiy 
little change from water ; though, after calci- 
nation, water immediately reduced them to 
powder. On the contrary, the residua of clay 
were obtained from bodies pofsefsed of just the 
opposite properties. That this observation will 
apply uaiversally, I dare not venture to affirm; 
but it appears to point out a probable solution 
of the present difficulty. To explain this in 
the most intelligible manner, it is necefsary to 
observe, Imo, That dry clay suffers a very 



singular change from immersion in water. 
For its particles, then gradually receding from 
mutual contact, come at length entirely to lose 
their cohesive power ; in consequence of which, 
the whole mafs, after increasing in its volume, 
crumbles down into powder. 2do, That clay, 
by the action of fire, not only acquires a con- 
siderable degree of hardnefs, but is at the same 
time so altered in its nature, that the water can 
no longer make any imprefsion on it. 3^/o, That 
gand in its natural state suffers, from the influ- 
ence of water, no change as to the cohesion of 
its particles J and that it acquires no consider- 
able hardnefs in the fire. 4^o, That calcarious 
earth, when uncalcined, suflfers as little change 
from water as sand does; but that, after calci- 
nation, it is affected in the same manner by 
that fluid, as clay is in its natural state. These 
things being premised, the difficulty is easily 
surm.ounted. Upon the exposing of marl to 
the air, the clay in its composition, moistened 
from time to time by the rain and dews, gra- 
dually moulders away; and, in consequence of 
this, the cohesion of the whole mafs is at last 
destroyed. On the other hand, when this 
niarl is calcined, the increased cohesion of its 
clay locks in the calcarious particles, and, 
denying admifsion to the water, fupports the 


mafs against the action of this fluid *. Lime- 
stone, on the .contrary, and other substances 
consisting of .calcarious earth, or calcarious 
earth and sand compacted into a solid mafs, 
undergo no change from being exposed to the 
air; because none of their constituent parts 
have their cohesion diminished by the in- 
iiuence of moisture. But, when these sub- 
stances are calcined and thrown into water, 
.as the calcarious particles then recede from 
mutual contact with a force which the cohesion 
of the particles of sand, if there is any, is not 
sufficient to resist, the whole composition must 
immediately fall into powder ■(•.. 

* Stone marls, upon being exposed to the air, divide 
ifirst into mafses of a considerable bulk. These divisions 
run for the most part horizontally or perpendicularly, 
with respect to the natural situation of the marl. Upon 
•examining the divided surfaces, I find them covered with 
a thin coat of very fine clay, with little or no mixture of 
•calcarious earth. Hence it is evident, why the resolution 
•begins at the parts where this clay lies. 

•}• It would appear that, in clay-marls, the particles of 
-clay are disposed in such a manner as to touch one ano- 
ther, and, at the same time^ to prevent the mutual con- 
tact of the calcarious particle.s. According to this dis- 
position, each particle of calcarious earth will be surroun- 
ded with a coat of clay. It is difficult to conceive how, 



Thus it appears, that matls differ from other 
calcarious substances, only by containing a 
certain proportion of clay. On which account, 
the clafs of calcarious bodies will admit of a 
division into such substances as in the air fall 
down into powder, and such as do not. 

without some such arrangement, the changes mentioned 
above should be produced. Unlefs the clay cements the 
calcarious earth, water, which only influences the clay, 
would scarcely bring about the resolution of marl ; nor 
would the calcination of this substance, which transports 
the property of relenting in water from the cla) to" the 
calcarious earth, produce the effects ascribed to it above. 
Besides this, water, so far as is yet known, only destroys 
the attraction of the particles of clay to one another, not 
the attraction of those particles to any other substance ; 
therefore, uniefs the particles of clay contained in any 
marl were in mutual contact, the application of water to 
that marl would produce no effect. On the other hand, 
when marl of considerable purity is calcined, if the cal- 
carious particles were in contact with one another, not 
even the increased cohesion of the clay would be able to 
prevent their separation, considering the quantity of 
calcarious earth contained in such marls, and the force 
.with which that earth, after calcination, explodes in 
water. But if you conceive the calcarious particles as 
separately involved in clay, which in its natural state 
readily falls down in water, and, after burning, denies 
admittance to that fluid, all the phenomena are easily 
accounted for. Besides all this, facts are not wanting to 
justify the supposition of this arrangeqient. Acids, 



The two following experiments were made 
with a view to discover what change the action 
of fire produced upon the calcaneus earth of 
marl with regard to its solubility in acids. 

however stronjr, cannot extract anv calcarious earth from 
calcined marl, except such particles as lie upon tlie brokea 
surface ; and when these particles are thus carried away, 
the surrounding particles of clay, though more easily 
separated, still retain their former situation and attach- 
ments; which shows that such particles are fixed to one 
another, and can support themselves in their place with- 
out any afsistance from the calcarious earth. But when 
water is applied to marl in its natural state, it gradually 
makes its way through the whole mafs which it reduces 
to powder. This, therefore, is a proof that the calcarious 
particles of marl have no mutual cohesion, since the whole 
mafs moulders down as soon as the cohesion of the clay is 
destroyed. And, as no acid can find admittance deeper 
than the surface to difsolve the calcarious earth in cai- 
cined marl, we may conclude, that taking out one particle 
of this earth does not open a ])afsage to another; und 
therefore, that these particles lie in separate cells. From 
what is here said, we may plainly see the necc'sity of 
pulverization in Experiments XVII. and XXII.; and like- 
wise how it happens, that when the clay, mixed with a 
calcarious earth, is below a certain proportion, the com- 
•position, when burnt, cannot resist the influence of water. 
It may be here asked, how it happens that acids can find 
admittance to the calcarious earth of marls, even in their 


Experiment XXII. 

Thirty grains of the marl of Experiment IIL 
were, by burning, reduced to twenty. These 
■just taken from the fire, and powdered, were 
mixed with a quantity of diluted acid of sea- 
natural state, as each particle is supposed to be surrounded 
by a coat of clay ? As to this particular, it must be con- 
sidered, that ajcids contain a x:onsiderabIe quantity of 
water, which acts upon the clay, at the same time that 
the acid is acting upon thecalcarious earth. Hence it is 
that the addition of water to the purer acids, facilitates 
the resolution of the marls to which they are applied. 
Besides this, in all pieces of marl, some particles of cal- 
jcarious earth must be exposed. The acid, in difsolving 
these, sets at liberty their entangled air. This now 
restored to an elastic state, pushes every way with great 
force, breaks the shells of clay contiguous to it, and, by 
that means, exposes more of the calcarious particles to 
the contact of the acid. Thus the solution is carried on. 

Some of the foregoing reasoning may be applied in 
favour of the following supposition. Jt is probable, that 
in a compound consisting of calcarious earth and sand, 
the particles of the former surround and cement those of 
the latter. From this arrangement it is, that when such 
a composition is calcined and put into water, the whole 
relents into powder, though only the calcarious earth is 
affected. In the same manner, when acids are applied to 
this calcined substance, they iind no difficulty, even with- 
out a previous pulverization, and without the afsistance 
of effervescence, to reduce the whole to powder j because 
.they difsolve the cement. 


salt*. No visible effervescence ensued upon 
the mixture ; but a remarkable degree of heat 
was generated. When as much of the acid 
was added, as I judged necefs^ry to difsolve 
all the calcarious earth contained in the marl, 
I filtered the mixture in the usual way. The 
residue weighed four grains, did not concrete 
by drying, and was considerably whiter than 
the residue of the marl in its natural state. 
The filtered liquor was of a yellowish hue, 
and, upon the addition of an alkaline solution, 
precipitated twenty-eight grains of a reddish 


Twenty grains of shell marl, calcined in 
Experiment XXI. generated, with the acid of 
^ea-salt, a considerable degree of heat, but 
without any effervescence. The unsoluble 
residue weighed thirteen grains, and the 
powder precipitated from the filtered liquor, 

* The raution formerly given with regard to pro- 
curing lime-water from ca'cined marl, must also be ob- 
served in the applicalion of acids to this body; for, with- 
out a previous pulverization, the experiment is generally 


Twa circumstances, worthy of attention^ 
occur in these Experiments, The one is, the 
absence of effervescence during the solution of 
the calcarious earth ; the other is, the remark^ 
able difference betwixt the w^eight of substance 
carried off from the marls by the acid of sea 
salt, and the weight of the powders afterwards 

precipitated from that acid. 


Both these unusual appearances may be 
easily accounted for from Dr. Black's ingenious 
experiments *. As to the first, the efferves- 
cence which ensues upon the application of 
acids to any calcarious substance in its natural 
state, proceeds solely from the expulsion of air 
contained in that substance, Calcarious earths 
are, by calcination, totally deprived of their 
air J therefore those earths, in this state, never 
can excite any effervescence with acids. Hence 
the absence of any such commotion in the two 
foregoing experiments is easily explained. 

As to the other circumstances, calcarious 
earths by calcination lose about a third of their 
weight. This lofs is found to proceed from 
the expulsion of air and moisture naturally 

* Edinb. Phys. Efs. vol. II. Art. 8. 


contained in such earths. Both this air and 
moisture, and consequently the original weight, 
are, according to Dr. Black's observations *, 
restored to such calcined substances by difsol- 
ving them in acids, and then precipitating 
them by an alkaline salt. As the marls em- 
ployed in the foregoing experiments had un- 
dergone the action of fire, their calcarious earth 
would necefsarily be deprived of its natural 
proportion of air and moisture ; on which ac- 
count, the solution of this earth in the muriatic 
acid, and its subsequent precipitation, by re- 
storing what was lost in the fire, could not fail 
considerably to increase its weight. And from 
thence it happens, that the weight of the pre- 
cipitated powders, added to that of their re- 
spective residues, equalled pretty exactly the 
weight of the marls before calcination. 

It may be also remarked, that the burnt marl 
of Experiment XXII. yielded, a smaller pro- 
portion of residue than the same marl in its 
natural state did. For when this marl Was ex- 
amined as taken from the pit, its unsoluble 
parts were nearly a third of the whole -, after 
•undergoing the action of fire, they did not 

* Treatise formerly cited. 


exceed a jfifth *. This difference, I imagine, 
is the effect of iron contained in the present 
marl. Iron in ore, discovers none of its me- 
tallic properties, and consequently is not then 
soluble in any of the acids f . But when a 
body containing iron is calcined in contact 
with an inflammable substance, that metal im- 
mediately afsumes its distinguishing qualities, 
and of consequence becomes obedient to the 
magnet, and soluble in acids. Therefore when 
our marl, in its natural state, was examined 

* They did not amount to a seventh part of the weight 
which the mar! had before it was put into the fire. For 
the weight of the marl then was thirty grains, the weight 
of the residue extracted after cakination was, only four, 

f it^forri a lale observation, I have some reason to doubt 
the truth of this afsertion. Whilst I was exaraifting some 
shell marl, the following unusual appearances occurred 
to me during its efferveieence with the muriatic acid : 
A pungent sulphureous vapour struck the nose ; vvhen 
the effervescence was at an end, the acid had acquired 
a peculiar disagreeable. styptic taste, resembling the taste 
of the tinctura martis. Upon the addition of an alkaline 
salt to this liquor, when filtered, an ochrey film rose to 
the surface ; and a brown-coloured powder fell to the 
bottom. Having re-difsolved part of this precipitated 
powder in the acid of sea-salt, I added to the solution 
some drops of the tincture of galls. Instantly a deep 
black colour was produced by the mixture. The ex- 


by the acid of sea-salt, the iron contained in 
it suffered no change, but remained in the filter 
as part of the residue. On the other hand, 
when this marl, surrounded on all sides by 
burning pit-coal, was properly calcined, its 
iron became soluble in acids, and consequently 
fit to pafs through the filter, with the calcari- 
ous earth invisibly suspended in the acid of 
sea salt. Thus it is evident that, in all marl's 
containing iron, the proportion of unsoluble 
parts must be diminished by calcination. A 

istence of Iron in the marl under examination being thus 
demonstrated, I wanted to know what proportion of that 
metal was contained in this substance. For this purpose, 
having mixed fifty drops of the acid of sea-salt with one 
hundred and twenty drops of pure water^ I difsolved in 
this mixture ten grains of the precipitated powder above- 
mentioned ; consequently seventeen drops of this solu- 
tion contained a grain of the powder. Into twelve 
ounces of water were put seven drops of this solution. 
In an equal quantity of the same water was difsolved 
half a grain of pure salt of steel. To each of these 
were added forty drops of a tincture of galls. The water 
which contained our solution became thereby consi- 
derably darker in its colour than the other. Therefore 
ten grains of the precipitated powder contained more 
iron than fourteen grains and a half of pure salt of steel. 
This marl communicated none of its iron to plain water. 
About a third part of its substance was soluble in the " 
acid of sea-salt. 


proof of the existence of iron in the rnarl undef 
consideration, is its acquiring ^a reddish cast 
in the fire, which all clays that contain iron 
are observed to do. That this iron remains 
with the residue, when the marl is analysed in 
its natural state, and pafses off with the calca- 
neus earth, when the analysis is performed 
after the marl is calcined, is evident from some 
circumstances in the foregoing experiments. 
For the calcarious earth, extracted from marl 
in its natural state, was always white * ; the 
residue by the the action of fire became red f . 
On the other hand, the calcarious earth of cal- 
cined marl had a reddish appearance, and the 
residue was w,hite J. 


All the foregoing experiments were ^directed 
towards the resolution of marl. I next at- 
tempted an artificial composition of this sub- 

Experiment XXIV. 
Seven parts of pure chalk were mixed, and, 

* Experimer.t XV. f Experiment IV. J Experi- 
ment XXII. 


by the afsistance of water, well kneaded with 
one part of tough clay. This paste, when dry^ 
relented suddenly upon the application of water. 
Water also readily reduced it to powder, after 
a sufficient calcination. From this, and the 
Experiments IX. and XX. it appears, that all 
proportions of clay and calcarious earth com- 
pounded together, will not resist the influence 
of water applied to them after calcination. 


Fotir parts of chalk were properly kneaded 
with one part of clay, and dried. This mix- 
ture, when calcined and put into water, suf- 
fered no perceptible change. The event was 
the same, whatever proportion of clay was 
used ; provided this was not lefs than the pro- 
portion employed in the last composition. 


Four parts of chalk, one part of sand, and 
one of clay, were well kneaded together, and 
dried. When this mixture was put into water 
after calcination, it cracked in several places, 
but did not fall down into powder. From this 
we see, that the addition of a little sand to the 
proportions used in the last experiment, makes 

Volume /. R 


a composition unable, when sufficientlyburned^ 
to resist the influence of water. And this hap- 
pens, because such an addition augments the 
surfaces to be connected farther than the clay 
can be properly extended. For this reason it 
is, that a greater proportion of sand than what 
is employed in this experiment, gives a com- 
position which the action of fire renders unable 
to resist water in the smallest degree. Com- 
pare Experiments VII. and VIII. with Expe- 
riments XVIII. and XIX. 


Six parts of chalk, two parts of sand, and 
one part of clay, gave a composition, which, 
when calcined and put into water, immedi- 
ately fell down into powder. I have seen a 
lime-stone consisting of the same proportion, 
of earths. 

It may be remarked, that though the last 
composition, and that of Experiment XXIV. 
quickly relented in water after calcination, yet 
many little mafses in both suffered no change. 
This was probably owing to some inequalities 
in the mixture, by which the particles of clay 
were in some places allowed to remain in con- 
tact with one another. 



Equal parts of quick-lime * and sand were 
kneaded together and dried. In this state the 
mafs suffered no change from water ; but when 
properly burnt, it exploded in water with con- 
siderable violence. 


A piece of old mortar, after calcination, fell 
down immediately in water. This mortar, ex- 
amined by the acid of sea-salt, appeared to 
consist of calcarious earth and sand, in equal 
proportions f. 

Thus it is manifest, that calcarious earth and 
clay constitute a substance pofsefsed of the 
properties of marl ; and that a mixture of the 
same earth and sand, even in equal proportions^ 

* I could by no means make crude calcarious earth 
cohere with sand in such a manner as to resist either the 
slightest touch, or the influence of water. 

f In the same manner, the proportion of sand in any 
mortar may be easily examined ; and, consequently, the 
composition of such mortars as have, for many ages, with- 
atood the effects of time, may be thus discovered. 



is not destitute of the most distinguishing cha- 
racters of lime-stone. These circumstances 
serve to support the account formerly given of 
the natural composition of marl and lime-stone, 
whilst at the same time they show that marls, 
considered as calcarious bodies, may surpafs 
many lime-stones in purity. Marls, however, 
are limited in the proportion of their calcarious 
earth. They cannot, according to my obser- 
vations, contain much above four-fifths of it. 
Lime-stone may consist entirely of this earth. 

From the affinity betwixt marls and lime- 
stone, we may see whence it happens, that a 
bed of the latter is often found interposed be- 
twixt two beds of the former. The calcari- 
ous earth in both is the same. The subsidence 
of clay in the one case, and sand or nothing in 
the other, along with that earth, makes all the 
difference. Among beds of marl, a bed of 
coarse stone sometimes occurs. This stone, 
however, I have generally found to contain a 
considerable proportion of calcarious earth ; 
but the quantity of this earth was too small to 
procure the stone the denomination of lime- 
stone ; and the quantity of clay in it was not 
sufficient to intitle it to a place among marls. 



Having in this manner analysed marl as 
newly dug from the ground, I next proceed 
to examine this substance after its exposition 
to the air. The Experiments III. IV. XV. 
XVI. XVII. were repeated upon marls that 
had been exposed for many months. The 
events were the same, as when the experi- 
ments were made upon newly-dug marl ; nay, 
part of a stratum of stone-marl, after it had 
been exposed for three years to the open air, 
and had undergone all the visible changes that 
usually proceed from such an exposition, dis- 
covered the same proportions of calcarious 
earth and clay, as when it was taken from 
the pit. 

Marl, when used as a manure, is generally 
supposed to attract from the air a certain acid 
spirit, with which it combines into a neutral 
salt, the powerful promoter of vegetation. I 
shall here add an account of two experiments, 
made with a view to ascertain the existence 
of that salt. 

Experiment XXX. 

Two drachms of clay-marl, which had been 



exposed to the air for six months, were digested, 
with a considerable heat, in ten ounces of w^a- 
ter. This water, after twenty-four hours, was 
filtered off, and the same quantity again added. 
After the same space of time, this second wa- 
ter was also filtered off. The marl being then 
dried, wanted a grain of its original weight. 
None of the filtered waters suffered any change 
from the addition of an alkaline salt. Both of 
them were, by a gradual evaporation, reduced 
to the quantity of an ounce. This differed in 
no visible manner from the waters before eva- 
poration, except that, after standing a little 
time, it deposited a small quantity of a grayish 
insipid earth, which, after a very brisk effer- 
vescence, difsolved entirely in the acid of nitre. 
Nothing but such an earth remained, when the 
evaporation was pushed to drynefs. 


Two drachms of shell-marl, which for three 
years had been exposed to the open air, were 
treated precisely in the manner described in the 
foregoing experiment, and in every respect with 
the same appearances. The marl, after digef- 
tion, wanted half a grain of its original weight. 
The filtered waters suffered no change from the 
alkaline solution, and left, upon evaporation, a 
small quantity of calcarious earth. 


These two experiments seem to contradict 
the common opinion with regard to the opera- 
tion of marl in agriculture j for the marls here 
employed had certainly been exposed as long as 
might have been sufficient for the attraction of 
a considerable portion of the aerial acid, and 
the consequent formation of a sensible quantity 
of a neutral salt. But these marls evidently 
contained nothing of a saline nature. For, by 
digestion in water, the proper menstruum of 
every salt, they suffered in weight no dimi- 
nution of any consequence. The grain want- 
ing in Experiment XXX. and the half grain 
in Experiment XXXI. may be safely allowed 
as the consequence of lofs of substance, which 
no attention can prevent in the procefs of such 
experiments. But supposing this diminution 
of weight really to proceed from the solution 
of some saline substance, such an inconsider- 
able quantity of salt will by no means account 
for the effects produced by marl j therefore 
these effects must proceed from some .other 

The filtered waters left, upon their evapora- 
tion, a substance which did not in the smallest 
degree partake of the nature of salt. Besides 
this, an alkaline solution added to these waters 



produced upon them no visible alteration ; 
which would not have been the case, if they 
had extracted anything of a saline nature from 
the marls. For, as marl contains no alkaline 
salt*, the calcarious earth alone of this sub- 
stance could serve as a basis for the formation 
of a neutral salt; and it is well known, that all 
such neutral salts are, after solution in water, 
immediately decompounded by the addition 
of an alkaline salt, which never fails to throw 
the earth to the bottom in form of a white 
powder. Therefore, if our waters had ex- 
tracted any salt from the marls with which 
they were digested, the alkaline solution 
would infallibly have discovered itf , 

It may be objected, that the heat employed 
in the foregoing experiments was too incon- 

* Experiments I. II. 

f Having difsolved twenty-seven grains of pure chalk 
in a drachm of the nitrous acid, and mixed the solution, 
with five diacl.ras of water, I found that one drop of this 
mixture couid, by the alkaline solution, be discovered in 
two ounces of soft water. But no more than a sixth part 
of that drop, at the utmost, can be considered as salt; 
therefore one drop, equal in weight to a grain of pure 
salt, will be discoverable in twelve ounces of water. 


siderable to promote the solution of the salt 
contained in the marls under examination. 
But, to obviate this objection, it must be con- 
sidered, that the heat, in which these ex- 
periments were made, greatly exceeded any 
heat to which the soil in our climate is ever 
exposed. From whence it is evident, that 
whatever proportion of salt our marls may ac- 
quire from the air, this salt never can con- 
tribute by its solubility to vegetation j and 
consequently marls cannot act in the manner 
that is generally supposed. Besides, to re- 
move all doubt with regard to this point, 
I boiled in water, during an hour, two drachms 
of the marl of Experiment XXX. This marl, 
when afterwards settled by filtration and 
dried, weighed two drachms and a grain. — 
The filtered water suffered no change from 
the alkaline solution. This experiment was 
repeated with the same appearances upon 
the shell-marl of Experiment XXXII. — 
Hence it is manifest, that our marls, by ex- 
position to the air, had acquired nothing 
of a saline nature. 

In Experiments XXX. XXXI. it is men- 
tioned, that the digested waters left, upon 


their evaporation, a small quantity of real cal- 
carious earth. Lest this earth should be sus- 
pected to proceed from some marly salt de- 
compounded in the progrefs of the evaporation, 
it must be observed, that the pure fountain 
water employed in these experiments, de- 
posited, by the same treatment, a quantity 
of calcarious earth equal to what was afforded 
by the digested waters ; and, from this cir- 
cumstance, we may perceive whence pro- 
ceeded the increase in the weight of the marl 
which had been subjected to so long boiling. 

Upon the surface of some marly rocks 
which looked towards the north, and had. 
been exposed time immemorial to the open 
air, I found a thin white efflorescence. In 
many places, where water trickled down from 
the rocks above, mofs, to the thicknefs of 
some inches, had been in time accumulated,, 
and was now crusted over with a hard white 
substance. Below this crust, the different 
plants of mofs were found disposed in a very 
regular manner, and soldered together by 
a substance similar to the crust. Here I ex- 
pected to have found the salt of marl, but 
could not, by any treatment, discover the 


smallest indication of it, The mineral acids, 
after a very brisk effervescence, difsolved en- 
tirely both the efflorescence from the surface 
of the rock, and the matter which adhered to 
the mafs. From this circumstance it appears, 
that these substances consisted solely of the 
calcarious earth of the marl, freed from t\\& 
other earths, by the moisture, &c. whosfi 
action it had for many years undergone. 

These marls were exposed alone to the air. 
Whether, when incorporated with the soil, 
such substances may be more readily con- 
Verted, in their calcarious part, into salt 
proper for the nutrition of vegetables, experi- 
ment alone can determine. Some circum- 
stances in the manufacture of nitre seem to 
persuade us that they may. On the contrary., 
observations are not wanting which appear to 
take greatly from the probability of such all 
opinion j for marls are found to produce the 
most remarkable effects on light exhausted 
soils, where they can find little* or nothing 
proper for furthering the nitrous procefs, oi" 
the production of any salt we are yet ac- 
quainted with. Hov/ever that may be, I 
think we are authorised by the foregoing 
experiments to afsert, that marl acquires 


nothing of a saline nature by being exposed 
alone to the open air*. 

If no salt is formed upon marl from its ex- 
position to the air, how does marl operate ? 
An answer to this questiod would necefsarily 
lead us to consider the operation of manures 
in general ; a subject too extensive and in- 
tricate to be discufsed within the narrow 
Jimits of this efsay. 

* The following observation, however, must not be 
concealed. Upon a stratum of marl, which, with others, 
had been exposed for ages to the open air, I found a 
whitish saline efflorescence in considerable quantity. — 
This efflorescence was moist,and difsolved readily in water. 
An alkaline salt added to a solution of it immediately 
precipitated a calcarious earth. After separating this 
earth by filtration, the remaining liquor afforded, by 
a proper evaporation, many distinct crystals of a cubical 
figure. They tasted like sea-salt, crackled in the fire, 
and, by the addition of the vitriolic acid, emitted copious 
suffocating fumes. Hence it appears, that the salt found 
upon this marl consisted of the muriatic acid, united to 
calcarious earth. It is singular that no vestige of this 
salt appeared upon any of the beds of marl but one, and 
this one had nothing peculiar either in its composition 
or situation. It differed from the rest in this only, it 
was pofsefsed of a greater degree of moisture. 



On Agriculture and Manufactures. 

J HE improvement of agriculture is an object 
of more real importance to Great Britain, than 
any that we can ever have in view. Our com- 
merce and manufactures are very productive ; 
but, if in search of this kind of wealth, we 
neglect the necefsaries and comforts of life, 
we shall retain the shadow, and lose the sub- 
stance ; while in the act of doing so we incur 
the risk of losing both our spirit and inde- 
pendence, together with that importance 
among nations which we have gained ; the 
necefsary effect of our becoming dependent 
on others for our subsistence. 

Agriculture, as the first and most important 
object with all nations of territory, should be 
carried to the greatest pofsible perfection, 
before any considerable encouragement is 
given to manufactures. It ought, indeed, to 
be considered as the life and soul of all manu- 
factures, which will every where prosper and 


flourish nearly in proportion as the agriculture 
of the country is more or lefs in a state of 

Some, indeed, who are accustomed to be- 
lieve that every thing may be accomplished 
with money, are induced to suppose, that by 
giving full encouragement to manufactures; 
bringing them to a state of prosperity, and 
thereby attracting wealth from abroad, that 
we must necefsarily encourage our national 
agriculture at the same time. But, in reality, 
this is seldom found to happen; perhaps in 
no instance whatever wdth countries that 
pofsefs any considerable extent of territory. 
Nations abounding in population, as well as 
in the necefsaries of life, will always derive 
advantage from a flourishing state of their 
manufactures ; and the wealth which these 
produce will give farther encouragement to 
the improvement of their soil. But where 
money is already abundant, and the popula- 
tion not great, as is precisely the case with 
this country at present, manufactures, if car- 
ried beyond a certain extent, will be pro- 
ductive of the very contrary effect ; and may 
€ven be carried so far as completely to check 
the improvement of land. In this state of 


a country, a few opulent merchants and 
manufacturers, may improve the small landed 
properties which they pofsefs, in the highest 
pofsible manner j while a great proportion of 
the contiguous districts, and even of the 
whole lands in the nation, equally fit for 
cultivation, may remain for ages in a state of 
slow improvement. 

If much larger profits are to be obtained by 
manufactures than can pofsibly be got in 
-agriculture, and if higher wages are given to 
workmen in the one line than the other can 
afford, as now is undoubtedly the case in this 
country, the money-capital of the kingdom 
will be withdrawn from every scheme con- 
nected with agriculture, and placed in manu- 
factures j at the same time that labourers will 
daily become more difHcult to procure, and 
at last too expensive to admit of being em- 
ployed. Even at present, this is so far the 
case with us, that in many districts agricul- 
ture is not advancing, and evidently from this 
cause. For, over the whole nation, it will be 
found, that while improvements in tillage are 
still carried on with spirit in counties not 
pofsefsed of large manufactures, they are very 
commonly in a state of languor, and even fall- 


ing behind, where these have prevailed in any 
considerable degree ; which not only attract 
almost the whole labourers of their several 
districts towards them, but even the monied 
properties of the landholders, as well as of the 
farmers, who from the temptation which the 
profits of these extensive works hold forth to 
them, are often induced either to become 
partners in them immediately themselves, or 
to fix their sons in them as partners : by which 
their farming capitals being diminished, all 
farther improvements of their farms are either 
put entirely out of their power, or they pro- 
ceed with much lefs energy and effect. So 
far, indeed, has the influence of this in many 
districts gone, that if it be not quickly counter- 
acted, more national harm is likely to ensue 
from it than all the wealth which the most 
flourishing state of our manufactures can pro- 
duce, will ever be able to compensate. 

~ Nor is our situation, in this important 
point, in any degree singular : similar causes 
will every where be productive of similar 
effects. And, accordingly, in every kingdom 
of Europe, (I am still alluding to nations 
pofsefsed of considerable territorial property) 
such as France, Germany, and Italy, it is 



\voll known that, with scarcely any exception, 
agriculture has been most perfectly carried 
on in those places where extensive manufac- 
tures have never existed. 

I do not from this mean to conclude, that 
manufactures in this country ought not to be 
encouraged ; but I consider it as a fair argu- 
ment in support of an opinion which I wish 
to establish, that while any considerable part 
of our improveable territory is left neglected 
and unproductive, particularly while we are 
obliged to apply yearly to other nations for 
a large supply of corn, which an improved 
cultivation of our own fields would render un- 
necefsary, it is for the general interest and 
security of every part of the realm, that the 
most decisive encouragement should be given 
to agriculture : by which abundance being 
secured of all the necefsaries of life, with their 
constant concomitant, an extensive popula- 
tion, every manufacture in the kingdom might 
then with more propriety be encouraged, than 
can with safety be done at present. 

Some have been induced to suppose, and 
even boldly to afsert, that the agriculture of 
Great Britain cannot be brought to a higher 

Volume // S 


state of perfection than that to which it has 
already attained : but this is so entirely con- 
trary to fact, that all who are versed in rural- 
affairs will admit, that, \vith due encourage- 
ment, our agriculture might with ease be im- 
proved so as to yield considerably more than 
double ,• probably, three times the present 
amount of it. For it is not merely the commons 
and those grounds usually termed wastes, and 
of which the quantity over the nation is very 
great, which require improvement : on almost 
every farm, except perhaps in a few districts 
of naturally rich soil, and which have long 
been in a state of high cultivation, every 
farmer will allow, that with more ample 
funds, the produce might be greatly in- 
creased ; by which we might not only be 
rendered at all times, and in all circumstances, 
completely independent of other nations for 
our supplies of corn, but enabled to support 
a much more extensive population! Objects 
of such magnitude and importance, that, in 
the view of national strength, security, and 
comfort, scarcely any other can be compared 

Nor W'Ould it be either difficult or expen- 
sive to give such encouragement to this 

georgicAl essays. 273 

source of wealth and prosperity, as, in no 
great length of time, would carry it to a de- 
gree of perfection which it may otherwise 
never be able to attain. All that a scheme 
for this purpose appears to require, is an 
annual and generous allowance in money, 
which the nation, even in the expensive war 
in which it is engaged, appears to be suf- 
ficiently able to afford ; this money to be 
placed under the direction of the Board of 
Agriculture, to be employed in giving anima- 
tion to the husbandry of the united kingdoms. 
The immediate advantages would be, that it 
Would quickly produce a more ample supply 
of all the necefsaries of life, than hitherto we 
have ever pofsefsed, together with all the 
beneficial effects which never fail to result 
from their being abundant. And here I beg 
leave to observe, that, among other improve- 
ments, a particular encouragement should be 
given to the cultivation of potatoes, which, 
being a nutritious and perishable root, will at 
iill times operate against the combination of 
monied men^ who having it in their power to 
hoard up all kinds of grain, can, by that act, 
make a plentiful harvest have the same opera- 
tion upon the public as a bad one. Agricul- 
ture, under due encouragement, will neces- 



sarily tend to a rapid increase of population ; 
and by exciting in our youth a greater bias 
for the improvement of land than for manu- 
factures, it would render them more healthy, 
more attached to their country, and therefore 
more to be depended on for its protection, 
than men can in general be whose lives are 
usually spent in difsipation, as too frequently 
happens with the lower clafs of manufacturers, 
when collected, as they now commonly are, in 
large numbers together 3 and who seldom 
place any value upon a country^ but in pro- 
portion to the money that they receive in it 
for their workmanship. Exceptions to this 
are, no doubt, to be met with ; but it must be 
admitted, that a nation, whose youth consists 
mostly of manufacturers, will never be so 
secure or independent, as it would be with 
the same population employed in the cultiva- 
tion of land. We have now the satisfaction 
of knowing that the population of England is 
not lefs than ten millions ; and as it is incum- 
bent upon Government to provide for the 
support of so many persons, without having 
recourse to foreign nations for every kind of 
grain, I flatter myself that the adoption of the 
annexed plan will be attended with the ma- 
terial advantage of letting us know the quaii- 



tity of land that ought to be in constant 
cultivation for the maintenance of a given 
number of people. Upon the supposition 
that seven millions of persons eat wheaten 
bread, about six millions of acres should be 
annually employed in raising wheat sufficient 
for eighteen months consumption. This, in 
a few years, would place us in the amiable 
situation of being exporters of grain to a con- 
siderable amount : a thing devoutly to be 
wished for. Notwithstanding there can be 
neither difficulty nor danger in the execution 
of this plan, I am convinced that Parliamentary 
authority will be required towards attaining 
regular and correct Returns from the respective 

The mildnefs of this mode is a great recom- 
mendation to it. Measures of a more rigor- 
ous nature would not be well received. 



On Goose Dun:;, 

nihil improbiis anser, 

Strymoniaeque grues, et aniaris intuba iibris, 

Officiunt, aut umbra nocet 

ViRG. Georg. Book I. V. 119, 

Mr. HOLDSWORTH, in his very judicious 
remarks upon Virgil, makes the following ob- 
servation upon the above pafsage. 

" Virgil speaks of geese, as a very trouble- 
some bird, and very pernicious to corn.— 
They are still so, in flocks, in the Campania- 
Felice, the country which Virgil had chiefly 
in his eye when he wrote the Georgics." 

In that remarkable long and severe frost, 
which happened in the year 1739-40, vast 
flocks of wild geese came and settled upon 
the green corn in many parts of Cambridge- 
shire and Huntingdonshire, which were nearest 
to the Great Bedford-Level, The farmers, it 
being quite a new visitation, were very greatly 


alarmed, thinking their crops would be en- 
tirely ruined by the depredations of those 
voracious birds ; but very soon after their 
departure, all those fears subsided, and. they 
were agreeably surprised in finding, that those 
corn lands which had been most preyed upon 
by such new visitants, gave as pleasing a pros- 
pect for a plentiful crop, as those that had not 
been touched at aH by them. The very un- 
common severity of that remarkable winter, 
locking up all those watery resources for food, 
within the lower and interior parts of that 
great level, obliged the birds to migrate in 
search of it elsewhere ; and having found 
u new and palatable supply from the green 
corn, they have ever since come up in 
vast flocks upon the setting in of sevep^ 
frosts, and feed upou it, undisturbed by 
the farmers, as long as the cold weather 
lasts ; their dung and their trampling, being 
found, from experience, serviceable, and not 
in any respect prejudicial. It must be ob- 
served, that they chiefly rest upon the out- 
laying lands, or those at a good distance from 
the towns or villages ; and ti^.at tliose lands 
are generally of a lighter nature of soil, and 
also poorer, than those in the lower parts of 
tbe common fields, which come in for more 



than a proportionate share of the yard dung. 
The green corn, especially the rye, being also 
commonly depastured, in those lower parts of 
the field, with ewes and lambs; a most noble 
advantage to the farmers, where the land is 
in sufficient heart and strength to allow it. 
What I would wish to infer from the above 
observations, is, that general rules, in regard to 
practices in husbandry, will seldom hold just 
and true ; I do not doubt, but the wild geese 
coming in such vast flocks upon the green 
corn in the Campania-Felice, might, in the 
time of that very accurate and judicious 
writer, be found to do injury to the crops 5 
and, pofsibly, the same observation may still 
hold true — much depends upon the nature of 
the soil, much upon the climate, and, probably, 
still much more upon the stage of growth the 
corn is in when it is preyed upon by those de- 
vouring birds. Doctor Martyn is pleased to 
observe upon this pafsage, *• That the goose 
is injurious wherever it comes, by plucking 
up every thing by the roots." Columella 
quotes Celsus much to the same purpose, 
^'Quicquid tenerum contingere potest, carpit." 
Palladius says, " Locis consitis, inimicus est, 
quia sata, et morfu la;dit et stercore." This 
notion of the dung of geese injuring thq 


grounds where they feed, still prevails amongst 
some few country people ; but experience 
will convince us, that grafs grows as well 
under the dung of those animals as most 
others. As to those bare places which are 
observable where geese very much frequent, 
they are occasioned by their drawing up some 
of the g'-afs by the roots, and not from any 
noxious quality in their dung ; as there is great 
reason to believe it to be of a very fertilizing 
nature, though not so much so as that of sea- 
birds, they feeding much upon animal food. 

There is a small island at the entrance of 
the Lancaster channel, called Fowlly Island; 
a name supposed to be given it from the 
immense quantities of sea-fowls or birds, that 
constnntly frequent it; the grafs upon it is 
uncommonly sweet and nourishing ; the beef 
and mutton fed there being remarkablv fine 
flavoured as well as fat. This island main- 
tains an unusual quantity of stock, for the size 
of it, both summer and winter; and its 
fertility, as well as the excellent quality of the 
grafs, are seemingly owing to the vast quan- 
tities of dung deposited there by those marine 
birds. The tarmers are so much convinced 
pf it, that they will not suffer those birds to 


be disturbed, if they can prevent it, at any 
time ; but especially at the breeding season, 
when the whole island is covered with nests 
of various kinds. 

I am certain that considerable quantities of 
most valuable manure might be raised by 
farmers who live near large commons, and 
keep great flocks of geese, if they would use 
the best methods of obtaining it. It is ob- 
servable, that the goose being a domestic 
bird, generally makes towards its own home- 
stal, or place of breeding, about the close 
of day, and remains there till about sun-rising. 
If they were to be regularly housed at night, 
in some empty out-buildings, and the place, 
every four or days, littered with straw, or 
weeds cut down before they perfect their 
seeds, much valuable manure might be ob- 
tained from that neglected source. The same 
advantage might be reaped by littering the 
places where other kinds of poultry regularly 
go to roost, or strewing the places frequently 
with saw-dust, or coal-ashes finely sifted. — 
Every three or four weeks the places should 
be cleaned out, and the dung laid up in heaps 
to ferment, either by itself, or mixed with 
soil, or scourings of ponds or ditches, which 


would considerably increase the quantity, and, 
for some uses,' improve the quality too. By 
such attentive managements, farmers would 
probably obtain seven or eight additional 
loads of excellent manure annually, an object 
that will not be contemned or neglected by 
any farmer that understands his businefs well : 
for the great difference that is found or ob- 
served between the management of different 
persons in that useful businefs, arises more 
from the very different attention paid to the 
minutiae of it, than to the great outlines or 
general practices ; for, he that does not pay 
daily and hourly attention to the latter, does 
not deserve the name of a farmer, nor will he 
continue one long, at least to any beneficial 
purpose j but he that pays strict attention to 
the former, will soon experience the mani- 
fest advantages resulting from it ; his fields, 
his crops, will evidently show it. Any 
one versed in the valuable writings of the 
ancients upon subjects of husbandry, will 
soon perceive the very great strefs that is laid 
by them upon an unremitting attention to 
every pofsible method of procuring manures. 
The great advantage of folding sheep upon 
ploughing grounds, is too well known to re- 
.quire noticing ; yet there are many sensible 


writers and farmers too, that think it more 
eligible to house the sheep every night in pro- 
per buildings for the purpose, which arc 
littered with straw, or covered frequently with 
layers of fresh dry mould, and that the advan- 
tage procured by such practice, in the quan- 
tity of rich manure obtained by it, will far 
more than compensate for the additional 
trouble and expense. There are many good 
farmers also, in the grazing way, who con- 
stantly keep collecting the dung or dropping* 
of their cattle ; laying them up in heaps, 
mixed with straw or other vegetable sub- 
stances, or with soil. And when the heaps 
have lain for some time to meliorate, turn 
them over, mixing with them lime, or sifted 
dry coal-ashes, or both. This excellent com- 
post is afterwards regularly spread over such 
parts of their grafs-grounds as stand most in 
need of such afsistance. Such a practice 
contributes much to the neatnefs, as well as 
improvement of such grounds, by preventing 
partial ranknefs, as well as poverty ; a defect 
that is visible in most lands, where such 
necefsary attention has not been paid to 



On the Advantages of raising Potatoes on Fallffws. 

xN the parish where I reside, the whole of 
which, except five acres, is my property, there 
are thirty cottages, containing 13 1 poor 
people. I have, for five or six years past, 
allotted, free from rent, four acres of land, in- 
tended to be sown with wheat the following 
autumn, for the cottagers to plant with 
potatoes ; by which means^ each raises from 
ten to fifteen sacks, equal to 240 pounds per 
sack, yearly, in proportion to the number of 
their children : each has not only sufficient 
for his family, but he is enabled also to fat 
a pig. They declare, was I to give among 
them a hundred pounds, it would not be of' 
so much benefit to them ; and it is not one 
shilling out of my pocket, for I have as good, I 
if not a better, crop of wheat from this land,| 
as I have from the other part of the field. 

The method I take is this : the latter end 
of November I plough the land ; the frost, 
during the winter, mellows it : the beginning 


of March following, I plough it again, and 
harrow it ; at both which times I have little 
to do with my horses : I then divide it into 
lots ; a man with a large family has a larger 
lot than a single person, or one who has only 
two or three children, allowing about five 
perches (of 167 feet square) to each in a 
family : they then plant it, and put over their 
potatoes what manure they have collected the 
year preceding (for ever}^ cottager has more 
manure than necefsary for this, from their fires 
and a variety of other things); and during the 
summer, after their day's labour is done, they 
and their wives hoe them ; and as every man 
works more cheerfully for himself than for 
another, they do not suffer a wxed to grow. 
In October they dig them up ; and it is the 
most pleasant thing imaginable, to see the 
men, their wives and children, gathering the 
produce of their little farms, which is to ser\'e 
them the ensuing winter. AVas this plan 
generally adopted, the labourers would con- 
sume but little com ; which would supply 
the manufacturing towns, and we should have 
no occasion to import. As four acres are suf- 
ficient for thirt}' families, it would take but a 
small qusTitity of land from ever}' farm in the 
kingdom. The way practised here, is to 


plant the potatoes in furrows, eighteen inches 
apart, and a foot apart in the rows. The land 
about me is of different qualities ; on the hills, 
rather light ; in the vale, near the parish, in- 
clining to clay ; but all fit for turnips : the 
potatoes are planted in the low land, being 
nearer home. The poor, at present, will not 
live entirely without bread, as many do ia 
Ireland, though potatoes daily get into use 
more and more ; and I am persuaded, was 
my plan generally adopted, in two or three 
years the labourers in the country would con- 
sume but little or no corn. Thirty years ago, 
the poor in this part of the country would not 
eat potatoes, if they could get other roots or 


ESSAY xxr. 

On Drill-Sffwing. 

X HE anatomical investigation of the roots 
of wheat and other grain, has convinced 
me of the necefsity of placing all kinds of 
seeds at a certain depth in the earth, in order 
to their producing vigorous and healthful 
plants. For this wise purpose a variety of drill- 
ploughs have been invented and recommended; 
but from the expense attending the purchase, 
and the extreme complication of their struc- 
ture, there is not an instrument of that kind, 
as yet discovered, that is likely to be brought 
into general use. 

When I speak of the drill-plough, I do not 
connect the idea of its working with the horse- 
hoe. I here consider it only as an instrument 
for sowing land in equi-distant rows, which, 
by opening a furrow, shedding the seed and 
covering it, leaves the land stocked with 
plants in the manner of broad-cast sowing. 
Grain sown by the hand, and covered by the 
harrows, is placed at unequal depths ^ the seeds 


consequently sprout at different times, and 
produce an unequal crop. When barley is 
sown late, and a drought succeeds, the grain 
that was buried in the moisture of the earth 
soon appears, while such as was left near the 
surface lies baking in the heat of the sun, and 
does not vegetate till plentiful rains have 
moistened the soil. Hence an unequality of the 
crop, an accident to which barley is particu-- 
larly liable. The same obsen'ation, but in a striking manner, may be made upon the 
sowing of turnips. It frequently happens 
that the husbandman is obliged to sow his 
seed in very dry weather, in hopes that rain 
will soon follow, and either rolls or covers it 
with a bush-harrow. We will suppose that, 
contrary to his expectations, the dry weather 
continues. The seed, being near the surface, 
cannot sprout without rain. The husband- 
man is mortified at his disappointment, but is 
soon satisfied and made easy by a perfect ac- 
quiescence in what he thinks is the will of 
Providence. The scourge that he feels must 
not be placed to the dispensation of Provi- 
dence, but has its source in the ignorance of 
the man himself. Had he judiciously buried 
the seed in the moisture of the soil with the 
drill-plough, or harrowed it well with the com- 
- Volume /. T 


mon harrow, his seed would have vegetated in 
due season, and bountifully repaid him for 
his toil. 

The man that expects the seed to vegetate 
by heat alone, little knows the immutability 
of nature's laws. Heat and moisture, when 
combined, unfold the particles of matter 
closely connected in the seed, and, by a kind 
of fermentation, bring the living principle into 

The husbandman that knows and studies 
these sublime truths, will often discover his 
want of succefs in his want of knowledge. 
Such a man will never repine at Providence ; 
but, amidst the adverse calamities of seasons, 
will at all times look up to the Deity with 
comfort and satisfaction. 

Reflections upon this sublime subject can- 
not be brought down to the level of vulgar 
minds. Modes more familiar will, in general, 
be better understood, and more agreeably re- 
ceived. All mankind are not philosophers. 

In the year 1769, I prepared a fifteen-acre 
close for turnips. The land was in fine con^* 


Ciltion as to lightnefs, and had been well ma- 
nured. On the 24th of June, I sowed four- 
teen acres of this Held, broad-cast, and har- 
rowed in the seed with a bush-harrow. The 
remaining acre I sowed on the same day with 
the drill-plough, allowing fourteeen inches be- 
tween each row, and set the shares near two 
inches deep. At the time of sowing, the land 
was extremely dry, which induced me to 
make the experiment with the drill-plough, 
knowing that I could place the seed into the 
moisture of the soil. From the time of sow- 
ing to the fifth day of July we had a continual 
drought, so that the broad-cast seed did not 
make its appearance till about the 8th of that 
month, at which time the drill turnips were in 
rough leaf, having appeared upon the surface 
on the sixth day after sowing. 

In the driest seasons, at the depth of two 
inches, or lefs, we are sure of finding a suffi- 
ciency of moisture to make the seed germi- 
nate. When that is once accomplished, a 
small degree of moisture will c;irrv on the 
work of vegetation, and bring the tender plant 
forward to the surface. 

When extreme dry weather obliges the 



broad-cast farmer to sow late, he has no op- 
portunity of sowing a second time, if the fly 
should get into the field. The drill secures 
him, in some degree, against that misfor- 
tune, by giving hin^i a full command over the 

I do not confine the excellence of the drill- 
plough to turnip seed : It is an useful instru- 
ment for sowing all kinds of grain. By bury- 
ing the seed at an equal depth, it secures an 
equal crop in all circumstances of the weather. 
But this is not the only consideration to the 
cultivator. It saves near one half of his seed, 
which is an object of importance to the tillage- 

In order to be clearly understood upon this 
subject, 1 beg leave to observe, that I here 
recommend the drill-plough as a good instru- 
ment for sowing turnip-seed, when the 
weather is so dry and sultry as to give the 
farmer reason to apprehend danger from the 
late sprouting of the seed. But when the 
weather favours germination, the broad-cast 
method, by being more expeditious and lefs 
expensive, will in general be preferred. 


When the farmer chooses to introduce the 
horse-hoe, the drill must then be recommend- 
ed in all seasons, on account of its distribut- 
ing the seed in rows. The shares must be 
placed deeper, or shallower, according to the 
drynefs or wetnefs of the season. 

Was I to give my opinion upon the best 
method of raising turnips, I should not hesi- 
tate one moment to declare in favour of the 
drill and horse-hoe, with intervals of three 
feet ; but an enlargement of this subject does 
not come within the idea of the present efsay, 
which only respects the drill culture, in equi- 
distant rows, independent of the horse-hoe. 

Having sufficiently enlarged upon the ne- 
cefsity of lodging the turnip seed within the 
earth during an extreme drought, I shall now 
proceed to an experiment made upon barley, 
with a view to recommend the sowing of 
that grain, as well as all others, by the drill- 
plough, in preference to the customary me- 

In the spring of the year 1769, I sowed an 
acre of barley, in equi-distant rows, with the 
drill-plough, in a field which was sown with 

T 3 


'the same grain, and upon the same day, broad- 
cast. The broad-cast took three bushels per 
acre; the driJl required only six pecks : This 
circumstance is worthy of observation. The 
drills were eight inches asunder, and the seed 
was lodged about two inches within the soil. 
The drill acre was finished within the hour, 
and the most distinguished eye could not dis- 
cover a single grain upon the surface. 

In the course of growing, the drill barley 
seemed greener, and bore a broader leaf than 
the broad-cast. AVhen the ears were formed 
throughout the field, the ear of the drill bar- 
ley was plainly distinguished to be near half 
an inch longer than the broad-cast, and the 
grains seemed fuller and better fed. This 
appearance occasioned a general surprise, and 
I confcfs I was at first at a lofs how to account 
for this apparent difference. 

Reflecting upon some experiments, that I 
had made upon the roots of wheat, I was in- 
duced to dig up some roots of the drill and 
broad-cast barley, and was most agreeably sur- 
prised to find the cause of the difference to be 
in the roots. The pipe of communication 
between the seminal and coronal roots of the 


drill-barley, was considerably longer than the 
broad-cast. And upon that appearance I was 
convinced that the length of the car, and the 
strength of the straw principally depended. 
I shall not here repeat what I have formerly 
advanced upon the shape of the roots of 
wheat. The curious reader will find that 
subject clearly and satisfactorily explained in 
the fifth efsay of this book. Without an at- 
tention to this simple mechanism, it is im- 
pofsible for the cultivator to have any ade- 
quate idea of the vegetation of corn. It is 
matter of surprise that such a self-evident 
truth should have hitherto escaped the ob- 
servation of naturalists. Upon it the doc- 
trine of top-drefsings depends. Every person 
knows their use, but few can explain the man- 
ner of their operation. But to return. 

The product of two hundred square yards 
of the broad-cast and drill barley, was care- 
fully housed, and afterwards thrashed out. 
The drill exceeded the other nearly one-fifth 
in measure, and being a bolder and better 
grain, weighed heavier, at the rate of two 
pounds in the bushel. 

From the experience that I have had of the 

T 4 


drill-sowing, I can recommend it as a most ra- 
tional and judicious practice. But as it has 
many difficulties to overcome, I apprehend it 
never will be brought into general use. A 
proper instrument is wanting that would come 
cheap to the farmer, and have the requisites 
of strength and simplicity to recommend it. 
The present instruments cannot, by any 
means, be put into the hands of common ser- 
vants. Should we ever be so happy as to see 
this objection removed, it is probable that all 
kinds of grain will be cultivated in drills. 
Corn growing in that manner has a freer en- 
joyment of air, and the farmer has an oppor- 
tunity of hand-hoeing and weeding without 
injury to the growing crop. This is an object 
of the utmost consequence in the cultivation 
of beans and winter corn. 

Wheat placed into the earth by the drill 
plough, is not liable to be turned out after 
frosts : The seminal root serves the purposes 
of an anchor. This is a consideration of great 
consequence to the farmer. 

Much more might be advanced upon this 
curious and interesting part of agriculture, but 
I flatter myself that these loose thoughts will 


be the means of awakening the attention of 
others, who have more leisure and greater abi- 
lities than I have 

After what I have advanced it will be need- 
lefs to observe, that in this efsay I only mean 
to recommend the drill-plough for sowing the 
land in equi-distant rows, instead of distribut- 
ing the seed by the hand in the manner called 
broad-cast. The drill, when connected with 
the horse-hoe, constitutes quite a different sys- 
tem, which has great merit when judiciously- 

It will not be improper to observe in this 
place, that most gentlemen who have fa- 
voured the public with comparative experi- 
ments between the drill, in equi-distant rows, 
and the broad-cast, or old method, have chosen 
an improper distance between the rows, and 
by that means rendered their comparative 
trials inconclusive, A foot is the distance 
generally taken, which, beyond doubt, will 
not only encourage the growth of weeds, but 
also prove a considerable lofs of land. The 
distance should never exceed eight or nine 
inches, and then the comparative; trial would 
be conclusive, as both methods are supposed 


to be conducted in the most perfect and ad- 
vantageous manner, 

The instrument that I have hitherto used for 
drilling of grain, is the invention of the inge- 
nious Mr. Craickj and made by Mr. Creigh- 
ton, coachmaker, in Edinburgh. It works 
with four coulters, and is the completest in- 
strument of the kind that I know of. The 
price is twelve pounds. One man, a horse, 
and a boy can easily sow four acres a day : 
so that if I was only to estimate the saving in 
seed, I should readily recommend the drill- 
sowing in equi-distant rows, as a method 
worthy of national attention. 

Mr, Benson, of Stainly, near Ripon, is the 
only farmer that I know of, who conducts his 
whole farm in this oeconomical and judicious 



On Manures J and their Operation. 

JLT is observed, 'that there are substances^ 
which, when mixed with the earth, greatly 
promote vegetation. These are called manures. 
To apply manures in such a manner, as most 
effectually to promote vegetation, it is of im- 
portance to know their natures, and the ways 
in which they operate. This is the more 
necefsary, as, without it, we cannot know- 
how to apply tliem in the most proper man- 
ner to the different soils. 

To inquire into these things is the design 
of this efsay. 

Manures operate in all the different ways 
by which vegetation is promoted. 

They operate, by communicating to the soil, 
with which they are mixed, the vep;etable 
food which they contain 3 by communicating 


to it a power of attracting this food in greater 
pknty from the air; by enlarging the vegetable 
pasture ; and by difsolving the vegetable food 
which it is already pofsefsed of, and fitting it 
for entering the roots of plants. 

Manures are very different in their natures. 
Some of them operate in all the ways men- 
tioned, and there are none of them that do 
not operate in more ways than one. 

Great mistakes have arisen, from supposing 
that manures operate only in one way. None 
have been attended with greater Icfs, than 
supposing that they serve only to divide the 
soil, and that tillage may be substituted in 
their place. This is Mr. TuU's opinion ; and 
is, indeed, the fundamental principle of his 
horse-hoeing husbandry. 

Before one changes the ordinary practice of 
agriculture, in so important a point as banish- 
ing manures from his fields, the good effects 
of which are so obvious ; he must be certain, 
that the principle which determines him to so 
important a change, is itself well founded. 

Mr. Tull has endeavoured to prove, that 


earth is the food of plants ; and hence infers, 
that to divide the earth into minute particles, 
by which it is fitted for entering their roots, is 
all that is necefsary in agriculture ; And this, 
he afserts, may be done by tillage, without 

But it is abundantly evident that other 
principles, besides earth, are in the com- 
position of this food : And, if this is true, the 
want of manures, which provide these other 
principles, cannot be supplied by tillage. 

Supposing we allow, with Mr. Tull, that 
earth is the food of plants, yet still it does not 
follow, that tillage may supply the place of 
manures. It is certain, that every particle of 
earth which we observe, is not of the kind 
that is the food of plants. Every soil is a 
composition of different earths -, several of 
which, it is obvious, are not of this kind. 

The great difference in soils, equally pul- 
verised, is a plain and convincing evidence of 
this. Now, let it be observed, that the earth 
contained in dung is of this kind j it has al- 
ready been food to plants, and therefore though 
all that is contained in the greatest quantity 


of dung laid on at one time, is but small in 
proportion to the quantity of soil employed in 
vegetation, as Mr. Tull justly observes ; yet 
it may be considerable in proportion to the 
quantity that is really the food or pabulum of 
plants. If the quantity of earth contained in 
the quantity of dung commonly laid on at 
one time, is compared with the quantity of 
earth contained in the richest crop, it will be 
found several times larger ; and therefore, by 
tbe laying on of this dung, food is provided 
for several good crops. 

Besides, let it be observed, that the me- 
chanical action of the plough cannot increase 
tlie number of the particles by which plants 
are nourished; they are so small as not to be 
observed in water. Mr. Tull supposes, that 
they are as small as those upon which the 
colour of bodies depends. Now, though 
pounding earth in a mortar may perhaps do 
something to increase them, yet the action of 
the plough can never be supposed to do it. 
The plough can do no more than open the 
soil, or enlarge the pasture of plants, and 
allow tliem to extend their roots in search of 
their food, but does not increase the quantity 
of it ; and therefore tillage cannot supply the 


place of dung, which not only opens the soil 
by Its fermentation, b"ut also increases the 
vegetable food by the earth which it contains. 

It may be further observed, that the fer- 
mentation raised by dung, continues for a con- 
siderable time ; so that though, by plough- 
ing, the soil may be as completely divided as 
by the fermentation -of dung, yet it will not 
continue so ; for, after seed is sown, the arti- 
ficial pasture raised by ploughing is con- 
tinually decreasing while the crop is growing; 
whereas the artificial pasture, raised by the 
fermentation of dung, is continued by the 
continuance of this fermentation ; and there* 
fore, though in the horse-hoeing husbandry, 
the want of dung may be supplied by hoeing, 
yet, as Mr. TuU indeed observes, dung is still 
necefsary in the old husbandry. 

If persons attentively consider the effects of 
manures, it will appear that they operate in 
all the ways mentioned. 

Manures are found to enrich the best pul- 
verised soil; and to do this again and again, 
after it is exhausted by crops. It is almost an 
universal practice to lay dung upon land that 


h kept constantly in tillage, once in three, 
four, or five years. It is observed, that after 
the dung is laid on, the land becomes rich, 
and that the crops turn gradually worse and 
worse, till the whole virtues of the dung are 
exhausted ; and it is also observ'ed, that im- 
mediately upon the dung being again applied, 
the* land becomes rich as before. It is natural 
to conclude from this, that dung promotes 
vegetation by increasing the quantity of the 
vegetable food. 

It is found, that some manures lose part of 
their virtues by being long exposed to the air. 
After dung is sufficiently rotten, the longer 
tliat it lies it becomes of lefs value, and does 
not enrich so large a quantity of land as when 
used in proper time. The dung of cows 
dried upon their pasture, gathered, and laid 
upon other land, is scarcely to be discerned 
in its effects on the crops produced : The 
same quantity applied, \^hether carried from 
the cow-house, or by folding the cattle, en- 
riches the land. From this it is obvious, that 
this kind of manure contains the vegetable food 
in itself, and does not receive it from the air. 

It is found that some manures operate the 


sooner, and with the greater violence, the 
longer they are exposed to the air ; before 
they are used. Lime and marls are of this 
kind ; the longer they lie exposed, they 
operate the sooner ; and it is observed, that 
they have a strong power of attracting the 
virtues of the atmosphere. From these things 
it is reasonable to infer, that these manures 
operate, by communicating to the soil with 
which they are mixed, a power of attracting 
the vegetable food from the air. 

It is observed, that some manures exhaust 
land of its vegetable food, and do not restore 
it again when immediately applied. This is 
found to be the case with lime. Land, 
thoroughly limed, has been found to carry 
i-nany very good crops ; by degrees, however, 
the virtues of it have been exhausted, and the 
land reduced to a worse situation than before 
the lime was laid on. In this situation lime 
has been applied a second time, but its effects 
found to be far inferior to what they were 
when first applied. This is sufficient to con- 
vince us, that this manure operates by dis- 
solving the vegetable food which it meets 
with in the soil, and fitting it for entering the 
roots of plants. 

Vvlume I, V 


It is certain, that all kinds of manures open 
the soil. Any person will be convinced of 
the truth of this, who will take the trouble to 
compare a piece of land, on which dung, or 
any other manure has been laid, with a piece 
contiguous that has not been manured ; he will 
find the one much softer, much more free and 
open than the other. It must be allowed, 
therefore, that all manures operate by enlarg'- 
ing the vegetable pasture. 

Manures are commonly divided into clafses. 
Some divide them into natural and artificial; 
others divide them into the fofsil, the vege- 
table, and the animal, and treat of them ir^ 
order, as belonging to each of these clafses. 

The manures belonging to some of these 
clafses differ, both in their nature and opera- 
tion, from those in the other clafses. Some 
of them likewise differ from others in the same 
clafs. The dividing them into clafses, there- 
fore, serves no purpose. All that is nccefsary 
is, to treat of the different particulars which 
the farmer can command, without considering 
to what clafs they belong 

Dung is commonly used to signify not only 


the excrement of animals, but also all rotten 
vegetables, when used as manures. In treat- 
ing of it in this efsay, we understand it in the 
first sense of the word. 

The food of animals, reduced to a corrupted 
state, constitutes dung. The stomach dis- 
solves that food, and reduces it to a state of 
putrefaction much' sooner than is done by the 
air. It is'by being in this state of putrefac- 
tion that the juices, fit for the nourishment 
of the body, are conveyed by the lacteals into 
the blood. While bodies are in a sound state, 
their parts adhere firmly together, and they 
are incapable of being turned into the parts 
of other bodies. To render them incapable 
of this, they must be reduced to their first 
principles. This is done by corruption. It 
is observed, that by corruption all the parts of 
bodies are relaxed, and the salts, oils, and 
other juices which they contain, from being 
fixed are- made volatile. It is , by being re- 
duced to this state in the stomach, that the 
things which the animal feeds upon become 
nourishment to it, and are turned into parts of 
its body. 

All the juices contained in the things which 

V 2 


animals feed upon, are not exhausted by the 
guts i many of them, along with the earthy 
part of the food, are thrown out. There is 
no doubt that some of the earthy part of the 
food goes also to the nourishment of the 
animal ; but as the earth is rendered volatile 
by the salts and oils, there must be but a small 
quantity of it, in proportion to the quantity 
of these, exhausted by the animal ; and there- 
fore in the dung there must be a great quan- 
tity of earth in proportion to the other prin- 
ciples. However, as the dung contains all 
the principles of the food, we may consider 
the dung of those animals that feed on 
vegetables, as vegetables in a putrefied state. 

Of the same nature is the dung of animals 
that feed upon other animals. Vegetables 
are the original food. All animals either feed 
on pure vegetables, or on other animals that 
feed on vegetables. Animals that feed on 
vegetables are made up of the same things 
with vegetables, only under a different form^ 
and therefore the dung of animals that feed 
upon these, is still to be considered as 
vegetables in a putrefied state. 

Chemists inform us, that dung is com- 


pounded of the same principles of which 
vegetables are compounded 3 of water, air, 
oils, salts, and earth. The earth which it 
contains is of the absorbent kind, and attracts 
the other principles. They also inform us, 
that dung attracts and ferments with acids, 
and by this fermentation produces salts. — 
A quality of salt, as was before observed, is 
to attract and difsolve oils, and make them 
capable of being mixed with the water? 

If these qualities of dung are considered, it 
will appear that it promotes vegetation in alj 
the different methods mentioned. 

It promotes vegetation by increasing the 
vegetable food. It is compounded of the 
same principles of which the vegetable food 
itself is compounded, as we endeavoured to 
show when treating of the food of plants. 
This is also confirmed by the experience of ail 
places and all ages ; and it is what no person 
will doubt of, who considers that it has the 
same effects upon land of all kinds, and in all 

It promotes vegetation by enlarging the 
pasture of plants 3 it attracts acids from the 


air and soil ; and, by raising a fermentation 
with them, thereby separates the particles of 
the soil with which it is mixed. Every 
farmer knows the truth of this from ex- 
perience. The land upon which dung is laid, 
though naturally stiff, becomes soft and 
mellow, and is more easily ploughed than 

Dung, we have said, enlarges the pasture of 
plants, by attracting acids, and fermenting 
with them. Tliese acids are in the soil and 
air. They are in the soil ; for the soil pro- 
duces acid plants. Chemists tell us, that the 
neutral salt found in soil is compounded of an 
alkaline salt, such as is found in vegetables, 
and an acid spirit. All alkalies are strong 
attractors of acids ; so that, in the procefs of 
an experiment upon soil, perhaps it may be 
difficult to keep them separate, though they 
may exist separate in it. The acid plants 
prevent these from mixing ; or, perhaps, have 
a stronger power in their vefsels to separate 
them than other plants have. 

But though there may be no acids in soil, 
excepting in the compound of neutral salts, 
yet there is no doubt but they are in the air. 


Chemists find this by innumerable experi- 
ments. Ashes, when exposed to the air, pro- 
duce neutral salts ; the application of acids 
has the same effects. Any person may ob- 
serve a salt adhering to the lime of old walls; 
this salt is not in the lime, it is produced by 
the air. The same salt is produced by acids. 
Other experiments might be mentioned, but 
these are sufficient; 

Dung promotes vegetation, by communi- 
cating to the soil a power of attracting the 
vegetable food from the air. The earth 
which it contains is of the absorbent kind, 
and attracts all the other principles of the 
vegetable food ; and the salts which it con- 
tains and produces, attract oils. 

It likewise promotes vegetation, by pre- 
paring the vegetable food for the nourishment 
of plants. By the salts which it contains and 
produces, it not only attracts oils, but also 
difsolves them, and makes tiiCm capable of 
being mixed with water. It is probable, that 
oil is a principal part of the food of every 
plant which we cultivate in our fields, at least 
is the ingredient of which it is easiest to ex- 
haust the soil, and which it is most difficult 



to restore to it again. In proportion to the 
quantity of oil contained in any plant, in pro- 
portion it robs the soil, by which it is 
jiourished, of its vegetable food. But the 
nature of oil must be changed before it can 
enter the roots of plants. This change is 
made by salts ; they difsolve it, and make it 
to mix with water. 

Though dung promotes vegetation in all 
these ways mentioned ; yet, as there are other 
bodies that are much stronger attractors of 
acid^, by which many of its effects are pro- 
duced, it is probable that it principally ope- 
rates by increasing the food of plants. Its 
effects in difsolving the vegetable food in the 
soil must be very trifling. The salts which it 
contains and produces, having its own oils to 
work upon, and being along with them con- 
veyed into the roots of plants, cannot operate 
with any violence upon the oils which the 
soil contains. This is confirmed by expe- 
rience. When the virtues of dung are ex- 
hausted, the soil is no poorer than before it 
was laid on. 

Some new improvers are pleased to ridicule 
the old farmers, because they are so fond of 


dung ; but none will do this who attentively 
consider the virtues of it. Such manures as 
can be obtained, are to be used ; and tillajre 
is carefully to be attended to : but this must 
not supersede' the use of dung, which can be 
employed to so great advantage. 

The Author of the ^z\v System of Agri- 
culture takes upon 'him to afsert, that duno- 
destroys some land j and that it is as great 
folly to apply dung to land that requires cool- 
ing, as to administer brandy to a man in 
a fever. He tells the farmers that they mifs 
a crop by dunging an improper soil, and lay 
on more dung to remedy the misfortune. — 
These afsertions may impose upon a man that 
is fond of novelty and paradox; but, with 
men of sense and experience, they must bring 
into discredit every thing that such an author 

Tliough dung in general has all the 
qualities mention d yet there are some kinds 
of it pofsefsed of some of these qualities in 
^ higher degree than others. There are as 
many kinds of dung as there are of animals ; 
and in some respects they all differ one from 


The difference betwixt one kind of dun^ 
and another, is commonly supposed to arise 
from the different food of the animals. Green 
herbage, straw, or hay, do not contain so 
much vegetable food in the same quantity as 
grain does. Hence it is supposed, that the 
dung of cows is not so rich as that of horses, 
nor the dung of horses so rich as that of 

But this difference must partly arise like- 
vAse from the nature of the animals, if it be 
true, that the dung of horses, cows, sheep, 
hogs, and geese, all differ one from another, 
though fed upon the same pasture. Some 
animals digest their food more quickly than 
others. This makes a difference in the dung 
produced by the same food. Some things are 
digested and turned into a state of corruption 
by some animals, that pafs through others 
sound and undifsolved. The matter then in 
the stomach that digests the food, must be 
different in the different animals. The dung 
must partake something of the nature of this, 
which makes another aifference in the dung 
produced by the same food. 

Some writers on agriculture treat of thf 


dung of the different animals separately. But 
it is needlefs to do this ; for it requires more 
pains and expense to keep them separate, 
and use each of them by itself, than all the 
advantages arising from this way, above the 
ordinary way, can pofsibly amount to. 

The dung of fowls, particularly of pigeons, 
is an exception to this. It is commonly used 
• "vvithout any mixture, and it can be kept 
separate from other dung without any trouble 
or expense. It is observed, with respect to 
jt, that the effects of it are more violent, and 
sooner over than the effects of common dung, 
The effects of some other kinds of duns: 
would perhaps be the same, if they were used 
without any mixture, ^he dung of pigeons, 
teing thoroughly corrupted, soon difsolves, 
and becomes vegetable food. But the straw, 
with which the other kinds of dung are com- 
monly mixed, not being so thoroughly cor- 
rupted, prevents the effects of them from being 
§0 violent, and so soon over. 

The way in which pigeons' dung operates, 
points cut the manner in which it should be 
applied. As it is very rich, and its qualities 
soon exhausted, a very small quantity should 
\)Q applied, in proportion to the quanti-ty of 


Other dung. If care be not taken of this, the 
crop will be destroyed by being too luxuriant. 
Perhaps mixing it with some other things 
may have good effects. The strewing small 
chaff of any kind, from time to time, on the 
bottom of the pigeon-house, is very proper. 
The chaff sucks up the moisture, and makes it 
easy to reduce the dung to powder, which is 
an advantage -, for thereby the dung is scat- 
tered more equally, and manures a greater 
(quantity of land. 

It is a custom, in some places, to fold sheep 
and cattle for the sake of their dung; which, 
in this way, is used without any mixture. 
Some writers on husbandry give particular 
directions how to do this in the most advan- 
tageous manner. But it is needlefs to con- 
sider these. The farmer must consult the 
advantage of his sheep and cattle, and not the 
advantage of the land by the dung; and 
therefore must fold them in the most con- 
venient manner. A score of sheep, with the 
best management in folding, will not produce 
much more than ten shillings worth of dung, 
in the season, above the expense of folding; 
a sum soon lost by an injucjicious manage- 
ment of them. 



On Oil used as a Manure. 

XaAVING, for many years, considered oil 
as the great pabulum of plants, I was much 
hurt by the result ofsome experiments, which 
state oil as 2l poison; and turning this in my 
thoughts a thousand times over, it at last 
occurred to me, that though oil, as oil in its 
crude state, might act as a poison, yet it might 
be so changed as to convey it with great ad- 
vantage to the soil, and I instantly recollected 
Dr. Hunter's mode by ashes ; it also occurred 
to me that rape-oil cake, was known to be an 
excellent manure, that no objection had ever 
been made to it but its expensivenefs, and 
that if it was beneficial to the soil, it could 
only be so from the quantity of oil contained 
in it, though that quantity must be very sm.all 
indeed, considering the procefs of first grind- 
ing the rape-seed, and the vast force used to 
drive out the oil, so that what remains is little 
more than a caput mortuum ; yet the cake 
formed of these very remains, is known to be 
a rich manure. 


Think for a moment from how many 
seeds, p'ants, shrubs, and trees, we draw oil ; 
from rapeseed, linseed, mustard, fennel, ani- 
seed, juniper, carraways, mint, olives, &c. 
Thus we evidently draw an immense quantity 
of oil from the earth, but when and how, do 
we convey any to it ? I know of little or no 
attention paid to this circumstance in our 
compost dunghills, so that all the oil con- 
veyed to them, can only be from animal 

IVhatever may be the quantity of oil remain- 
ing in each each rape-cake, and I believe that 
no one will state it at half an ounce each, yet 
it must be remembered that after all it is only 
a vegetable oil ; reflecting on this circum- 
stance, and fully persuaded that animal oil, 
must be much superior to it, I directly went 
to town to inquire the price of whale or train 
oil, and there I was informed, that it was 
about 2s. 8d. per gallon ; this I considered as 
too expensive, but pursuing- my object, I was 
informed by Mr. Wilfred Reed, oil merchant, 
in Thames-street, that he could supply me 
with the bottoms or foots of oil, and a rich 
thick South Sea whale oil, at 14d. per gallon — 
This was the very thing I wished for, and 


directly ordered 60 gallons, for a five acre 
field, and thus went to work. Having a plat- 
form or bottom of twenty load of mould with 
eight load of dung on it, I carried on three 
load of light sandy mould, and one load of 
brick and mortar rubbish, ground fine, and 
having mixed these well, and made a kind of 
dish of it, about five feet wide and ten feet 
long, with a ladle we put over it one half of 
the oil — It was in August, and the warmth of 
the sun soon made the thick oil soak into this 
compost, when it was directly thrown up in 
a heap, broke down again, and by five or six 
turnings, well mixed together, and left in 
a heap two days, when it was spread equally 
over the whole dunghill ; twenty load more 
of good mould was then carried on, eight load 
of dung, and the remaining thirty gallons of 
oil was mixed as before, in sandy mould, and 
brick and mortar rubbish, and equally spread 
over, and the whole was covered by triinming 
the four sides of the dunghill, and throwing it 
on the top. 

Thus the dunghill lay more than tvvo^ 
months, when it was cut down by mattocks,, 
carefully broke, well mixed, and turned over. 
The end of March it was carried on the fields 


spread, and ploughed in -, it lay about a fort- 
night, was then ploughed again, and on 
the 22d of April last, it was drilled with 
the Rev. Mr. Cooke's most excellent drill j 
I mean his last, with hoes and scarifiers, which 
I think much superior to his former one : the 
last I think every farmer, w^ho has seen it at 
work, will consider as incapable of further im- 
provement. The field was drilled with barley, 
two bushels to the acre ; the crop came up 
in a most even and beautiful manner ; every 
seed was up within forty-eight hours of each 
other; all was ripe at the same time, and, from 
a couple of months after seed-time to harvest, 
was rated by all who saw it, and it was seen 
by many, as a sixty bushel crop. 

At harvest, three rows were cut acrofs the 
field, directly thrashed and measured ; one 
load out of thirteen was also thrashed and 
measured, and both stated the crop to be sixty 
bushels; but to wave all pofsibility of dispute 
or doubt, I am content to state the crop at 
seven quarters per acre. 

As to the quality of the barley, I could here 
cite the opinion of one of the most eminent 
brewers in London, who saw the crop grow* 


ing, and declared he would readily give lOOOl. 
to be afsured that all the barley crops in the 
kingdom were of equal burthen and weight ; 
five quarters of it have been lately sent to 
Nethrapps, in Norfolk, as seed-barley, under 
the denomination of 15 comb-barley; and an 
eminent maltster tells me it weighs 220lb. per 
sack, or 55lb. per bushel, Winchester measure. 

Among the many gentlemen and farmers 
who saw the crop on the ground, was the 
celebrated Mr. Bakewell ; he came with three 
or four others, and walking down the Held, 
observed the hedge and bank ^ the bank, 
upon being touched with a stick, run down 
as sand and gravel generally do, and 
Air. Bakewell being asked his opinion of the 
value of the land, if I do not mistake, valued 
it at 18d. per acre, but turning to the crop, 
and desiring his friends to do so also, he ad- 
mitted that it seemed as if growing on l"nd 
of 15s. or 20s. per acre. 

I must not omit saying that the barley 
followed oats, upon a lay of six years old, 
that the land was, as is too common in such 
cases, much infested with the little red or 
wire worm, and that the oats suffered much 

Volume I. X 


from them ; when we were ploughnig for the 
barley the first time, I observed many turned 
up by the plough, when a distant ray of hope 
instantly darted upon my mind, that the oil in 
its then state, or from its strong effluvium, 
might prove obnoxious to them, and 1 am 
happy in saying, that the barley did not suffer 
from them in the least. 

I can, however, add here, that I am now 
trying that experiment in Hampshire, having 
last autumn made up a dunghill, with twenty 
gallons of oil, on one-third of it, for a six acre 
field, which is now drilled with pease. 

It is well known that all animal-substances, 
in a state of corruption, wonderfully promote 
vegetation, and are the actual food of plants. 

The whale-oil which I used, is an animal sub- 
stance, perhaps the richest part of the animal ; 
whether I used enough, or what is the proper 
quantity per acre, experience must point out. 
Say I used eight loads of mould, three or four 
loads of dung, and twelve gallons of whale oil, 
per acre. 

That oil applied to land, as a food for 
plants, in its crude state, acts as a poison, I 


cannot deny, but my procefs is very different ; 
I believe that oil. particularly animal oil, 
is the pabulum of plants, that is, oil sub- 
tilized by the salts in a compost dunghill, left 
there a considerable time, in a state of putre- 
faction, and until the whole is become pu- 
trescent, then, I say, I believe, I have got the 
best and richest manure that can be carried on 

The barley evidently proved its excellence ; 
a ridge of summer cucumbers, in my garden, 
pointed out to many its great power, the leaves 
being in general, from ten to ten and a half 
inches broad, and the vines occupied an un- 
common space of ground. Five hundred 
cabbages and savoys, planted by the side of 
four thousand more, and which had only one 
handful of the oil manure put into each hole 
made by the dibble, at the time of planting, 
were evidently near as big again as the 




On Top-drefsings. 

Soot, malt du.t, pigeon dung, and rape- 

dust, are considered as top-drefsings. They 
are never worked into the land by the plough. 
In that, they efsentially differ from other 
manures. The theory of top-drefsings is not 
generally known ; the practice, consequently, 
is but imperfectly understood. 

When any kind of manure is worked in by 
the plough, we mean to lighten the soil, and 
at the same time to fill it with nourishing 
particles. But, when we apply top-drefsings, 
we only consider the nourishment of the 
plants, having no regard to loosening the 
earth. Light, sandy, and lime-stone lands 
are best managed by top-drefsings. Stiff loams 
and clays require lime and rotten dung to 
break the cohesion of their parts. The one 
remains in the ground for the benefit of suc- 
ceeding crops ; the other is only the food of 
the year. The tillage-farmer, whose soil is 


thin, should pay a careful attention to top- 
drefsings. They are the soul of his husbandry. 
On the Jime-stone lands in Yorkshire, rape- 
dust is chiefly used ; but the price is so much 
advanced, that the farmer can hardly afford to 
purcJias.e it. An acre of wheat land cannot 
be well drefsed with lefs than four quarters of 
rape-dust : three quarters are sufficient tor an 
acre of barley. The price is about eighteen 
shillings per quarter. To obviate this great 
expense, I shall recommend a compost ma-fe 
of shambles-blood and saw-dust, which I have 
found experimentally to equal, if not excel, 
most hand drefsings. This compost has the 
peculiar property of being no way offensive to 
the smell. It comes cheap, and may be pro- 
cured in every large town. I cannot give any 
directions relative to the quantity necefsary 
for drefsing an acre of land. My experience 
upon it has been confined to a small scale^ — 
it is speedy in its effects, but not lasting. 

In Flanders, where manures are well under- 
stood, they dry and powder human ordure, 
which they use as a top-d^efsing, and find it 
of a rich quality. In large manufactories, 
and in places where a number ot people live 
together, it may be a judicious practice to re- 



ceive all excrementitious matters upon saw- 
dust ; which, by frequently turning over, may 
be converted into one of the richest drefsings. 

In order to have a distinct idea of top- 
drefsings, we must reflect that wheat, oats, 
barley, and rye, have two kinds of roots. The 
one is called the seminal, the other the coronal 
root. The first lies deep in the ground, and 
proceeds immediately from the grain : The 
other is formed just within the surface. In 
proportion to the vigour of this last, the crown 
becomes stronger or weaker; or, in other 
words, the plant tillers more or lefs. In 
winter corn, the plant is nourished, during the 
severe months, by the seminal root only. It 
should therefore be placed pretty deep, to 
secure it against the eflfects of the frost. On 
this account drill-wheat stands the winter 
better than the broad-cast. The coronal root 
seldom appears before the beginning of 
March. This is therefore the season for 
the application of top-drefsings. The first 
shower of rain washes them just within the 
surface, where they become the immediate 
nourishment of the coronal root. 

Jn most places, rape-dust is harrowed in 


Avith the winter corn ; but soot is always laid 
on in the spring. By the application of this 
last, the plants soon recover the injuries of the 
winter, and a large crown is formed, from 
which a number of stalks are produced in 
proportion to the size of the crown. 

In spring corn, the coronal roots form them- 
selves within a few weeks after sowing ; 
for which reason the top-drefsings should be 
harrowed in with the grain. 

It will be necefsary to remark that, as top- 
drefsings can only operate but a little way 
within the surface, they are therefore only 
proper for horizontal feeders ; as wheat, oats, 
barley, and rye. Beans, and tap-rooted plants 
require such manures as are worked into the 
land by the action of the plough. 

It may be objected that turnips, though 
tap-rooted, yet receive benefit from top- 
drefsings ; but it must be considered that 
they operate upon the plant by pushing it 
hastily into rough leaf, and thereby securing 
it against the fly. After this, the turnip 
flourishes or declines in proportion to the 
richnefs or poverty of the soil. 



So much depends upon the right use of 
manures, that we cannot employ too much 
time in investigating their natures. Notwith- 
standing what Mr. Tull and other ingenious 
gentlemen have advanced, I am clearly of 
opinion that manures are the life and soul of 
husbandry. Till the farmer can scientifically 
explain the manner that manures operate, he 
will find it impofsible to reduce his profefsion 
to the standard of reason. I therefore flatter 
myself, that, from these efsays, he will be able 
to collect some hints that will be of use to 
him in forming a just notion of one of the 
most important branches of agriculture. 




On the different Snan/ities of Rain tvhichfall at different 
Heights over the same Spot of Ground. 

XLVERY operation of nature, which in- 
fluences vegetation, is interesting to the spe- 
culative and philosophical farmer. The dis- 
charge of the ELECTRICAL FLUID, by the 
descent of rain, may be considered as a pri- 
mary agent in producing the germination of 
seeds, and the rising of the sap in vegetables. 
Electricity accelerates the motion of the fluids 
in the capillary tubes of plants, increases their 
perspiration, heightens their verdure, and 
powerfully promotes their growth. Hence 
perhaps, in some degree, arises the instanta- 
neous vivifying effect of a summer shower on 
the vegetable creation. 

It is hoped, therefore, that the following 
attempt to account for the different quantities 


of rain which fall at diiferent heights over the 
same spot of ground, will not be deemed en- 
tirely foreign to the purpose of these efsays. 

In the last volume of the Philosophical 
Transactions, some experiments arc related, 
by which it appears, that there fell below the 
top of a house, above a fifth part more rain 
than what fell in the same space above the 
top of the same house ; and that there fell 
upon Westminster- Abbey not above one half 
of what was found to fall, in the same space, 
below the tops of the houses*. These ob- 

* I am informed by an ingenious correspondent at 
Bath, that similar experiments have been made in that 
place with the same result ; and a friend of mine at 
Liverpool, on whose judgment and accuracy I can rely 
with confidence, has lately favoured me with the follow- 
ing account, dated March \i, 1771 : " During the late 
rains 1 repeated Dr. Heberden's experiment : The upper 
vefsel received thirteen ounces and a half of rain, the 
lower vefsel twenty-seven ounces. The difference of 
altitude was about sixteen or seventeen yards. The 
wind blew a brisk gale from the south-east. I made 
the trial also during a fall of snow : and, in that, found 
tlie proportion as three to five." The following experi- 
ment, communicated t« me by the same gentleman, 
varies a little in its result from the former, owing, per- 
haps, to a difference in the serenity of the air: for the 
wind has a more powerful effect on the descent of snow 
than of rain, because its specific gravity is lefs. — 


servations, however new and singular, are too 
well authenticated to admit of the least de- 
gree of doubt ; and philosophy should be 
employed not to invalidate a fact so fully 
ascertained, but to furnish a rational and 
adequate cause of it. 

Dr. Heberden conjectures that this phseno- 
menon depends oh some property of electricity, 
which he thinks remains hitherto unknown. 
To me it appears probable, that the common 
laws by which this power influences the 
ascent and suspension of vapours, are sufficient 

*' March 27, 177 I, there was a continued fall of snow, 
from eight in the morning till five in the afternoon. The 
air was still ; the snow came down very thick, and in 
large flakes. Daring the nine hours which the snow 
continued to fall, the upper vefsel received thirteen 
ounces, the lower vefsel twenty-six ounces." In the 
years 1773 and 1774, the observations on the different 
quantities of rain, which fall at different heights, were 
repeatedly made at Liverpool : and it was almost in- 
variably found, that a vefsel, standing on the surface of 
■ the ground in a spacious garden, received double the 
quantity of rain which fell into another vefsel of equal 
dimensions, placed near the same spot, but eighteen 
yards higher. At Middlewich, during part of the year 
1774', the quantity of rain caught at the top of the 
church-steeple was 15,75 inches; and in a garden, 
eighty feet below, 19 Inches. The garden, it should be 
remarked, was not contiguous to, although at no great 
distance from the church. 


to explain their precipitation in rain, and the 
lately-discovered mode of its descent. 

The electrical fluid is ftrongly attracted by 
water, and by destroying the cohesion be- 
tween its particles, and repelling them from 
each other, it becomes a powerful agent in 
evaporation. The waters of the ocean abound 
in this fire, and vapours raised from them 
float in the air, forming clouds which retain 
their electricity, till they meet with other 
bodies, either destitute of it, or containing it 
in a lefs proportion than themselves*. This, 
in all probability, is frequently the case with 
those vapours or clouds which are produced 
by exhalations from the earth, from fresh 
water, and the perspiration of plants and 
trees J at least it is an undoubted fact, that 
some clouds (to use the language of this 
branch of philosophy,) are electrified positively, 
and others negatively. No sooner does the 
communication take place, but the repulsion 
between the particles of water is diminished, 
those which have discharged part of their 
electricity, are succefsively attracted by the 
contiguous ones which have not j and thus 

* Vid. Franklin on Electricity. 


thev prefs nearer together, become specifically 
heavier than the atmosphere, and descend in 
small drops, which, losing every instant more 
and more of the electric fire, coalesce, uniting 
into larger and larger drops, and consequently 
filling a space which is continually diminish- 
ing, as they approach nearer to the surface 
of the earth. This may be illustrated by 
electrifying the -stream of a fountain, which 
will spread itself into the form of a brush by 
the mutual recefsion of the particles of water: 
but withdraw the supply of electric fire, and 
the fountain discharges itself in one continued 
current*. A pair of cork-balls suspended 
together by silken threads, when electrified, 
recede from each other ; and if the air be dry, 
return by degrees only to their natural posi- 
tion. Two feathers electrified will float in 
the atmosphere, mutually repelling each 
other, when in a certain degree of contiguity, 
and gradually descending as they lose that 
power, which, by expanding their plumulce^ 
rendered them specifically lighter than the 
air. But if one of them discharges suddenly 
the electric fire, it will instantly be attracted 

Vid. Franklin on Electricity. 


towards the other, and receive a fresh supply ^ 
when a repulsion (acting indeed at a much 
lefs distance than before,) will again take place 
between them. 

When two clouds, one replete with electric 
fire, the other destitute of it, come within the 
sphere of each other's attraction, they will 
rush together, and the electrical fluid being 
diffused through a larger space, the particles 
of water will unite, and form themselves into 
drops of greater magnitude, and a heavy 
shower will be produced. Still, however, as 
the rain descends through an atmosphere con- 
taining little electric fire, it will be continually 
communicating it ; and the discharge being 
greatest from the circumference of the cloud, 
because the surface is there largest, the drops 
will be drawn nearer and nearer to each other, 
and, approaching towards one common centre, 
will gradually coalesce in their pafsage. — 
Dr. Franklin has related a most ingenious ex- 
periment, which elucidates the formation of 
rain as thus described. Take two round 
pieces of pasteboard of two inches diameter; 
from the centre and circumference of each of 
them suspend, by fine silk threads eighteen 
inches long, seven small balls of wood, or 


seven peas equal in bignefs, so will the balls 
appending to each pasteboard, form equal 
equilateral triangles, one ball being in the 
centre, and six at equal distances from that, 
and from each other ; and thus they represent 
particles of air. Dip both sets in water, and 
some adhering to each ball, they will re- 
present air loaded. Dexterously electrify one 
set, and its balls will repel each other to 
a greater distance, enlarging the triangles. 
Could the water, supported by the seven balls, 
come into contact, it would form a drop or 
drops so heavy as to break the cohesion it had 
with the balls, and so fall. Let the two sets 
then represent two clouds, the one a sea 
cloud electrified, the other a land cloud; bring 
them within the sphere of attraction, and they 
will draw towards each other, and you will 
see the separated balls close thus : the first 
electrified ball that comes near an unelectrified 
ball, by attraction joins it, and gives it fire ; 
instantly they separate, and each flies to 
another ball of its own party, one to give, 
the other to receive fire, and so it proceeds 
through both sets, but so quick as to be in 
a manner instantaneous. In their collision 
they shake oflT and drop their water, which 
represents rain. This experiment would 


better illustrate and confirm my hypothesis^ if 
a larger number of balls were appended at 
equal distances, to each pasteboard, so as to 
form several circles, having one common 

But it rarely happens that a land cloud is 
equal in magnitude to one raised from the 
sea; consequently the rain produced by their 
■union will be proportionabjy lighter in the 
upper, and heavier in the lower regions of the 
atmosphere, as the electric matter is more or 
lefs gradually diffused. 

When an electrified cloud, without mixing 
with another cloud, or losing part of its elec- 
tric fire, becomes specifically heavier than the 
atmosphere, by cold, or some local change in 
the density of the air, it will descend at first 
perhaps in a mist ; but will form, as it ap- 
proaches nearer to the earth, and is lefs re- 
plete with the electric fluid, a light shower 
of rain. 

Besides the clouds which float separately ia 
the higher regions of the atmosphere, the air 
contains a large quantity of water in the state 
both of solution and of diffusion ; and dews. 


fogs, and sometimes even showers of rain, 
are probably produced by the precipitation 
of the water thus suspended. Now the 
quantity of water which the air is capable of 
difsolving and suspending, is proportioned to 
its degree of density ; and this density de- 
creases in a certain ratio, according to its dis- 
tance from the surface of the earth. Rain, 
therefore, in its descent will be every instant 
acquiring an accefsion to the bulk of its 
drops, by attracting these aqueous vapours. 
For the cold produced by a falling shower, 
will precipitate from the air, both its difsolved 
and diffused water. And thus, at different 
heights, will be produced, from this cause, 
some difference in the quantity of rain which 
falls over the same spot of ground. The dis- 
charge of the electrical fluid from a falling 
shower, may also act as a powerful precipitant 
of the vapours, which are chemically difsolved 
in the air. For by conveying an electrified 
wire to the surface of a quantity of water, 
saturated with any saline substance, an imme- 
diate and copious precipitation is produced, 
and the salt forms itself into largc^occw//. 

Rain, when undisturbed by winds, de- 
ends in lines converging towards the centre 
Veliune I, Y 


of the earth, like the radii of a circle. This 
direction towards the perpendicular, however 
trifling in degree, gives some little tendency 
to the drops to coalesce together, and concurs 
in the general effect of producing a different 
quantity of rain at different heights. 

From what has been advanced, it appears 
probable to me, that the gradual discharge of 
the electrical fire is the principal cause of the 
phaenomenon I have attempted to explain. 
As the rain descends, the drops coalesce more 
and more together, by the continued diminu- 
tion of the repulsive power which counter- 
acted their mutual attraction ; and con- 
sequently, in a given space, a much larger 
quantity will fall near to, than at a distance 
from, the surface of the earth. A cloud 
which fills many thousand acres in the higher 
regions of the air, when the electric fluid 
operates upon it with full force, may not 
cover one-third of that extent when it has de- 
scended in a shower of rain. To this effect 
the precipitation of the vapours contained in 
a difsolved or diffused state, in the lower re- 
gions of the atmosphere, and the influence of 
gravitation in producing a convergency of 
the drops of rain, will in some degree cox\t 


P. S. Having communicated the preceding 
paper to Dr. Heberden and Dr. Watson, 
I have been favoured by the latter with the 
follounng curious fact. — '* The water in the 
rain-gage at the top of Lord Charles Caven- 
dish and Dr. Meberden's houses, which are 
about a mile distant from each other, pretty 
nearly correspond ; but at the botton of Lord 
Charles's house, though the level is forty feet 
above the top of Dr. Meberden's, the quantity 
always exceeds that of Dr, Heberden's. Last 
year, for instance, at the top of both their 
houses, there were collected about twenty- 
two inches of rain ; but in Lord Charles's 
garden, at a distance from any buildings, 
tlicre fell twentv-six inches ; and this, in his 
Lordship's garden, has been constant for 
several years. Dr. Heberden has been too 
much confiried to make accurate observations 
at the bottom of his late house ; but he is now 
removed to Pall-^Iall, where his opportunities 
of observing ar-e more favourable." 

This fact, at first sight, appears to be 
a strong objection to the hypothesis I have ad- 
vancea. May it not, however, be obviated, 
by supposing that the discharge of the electrical 
fluid from a falling skow<:r, is not so much in- 



fluenced by the absolute, as by the relative 
height of the places where the rain descends ? 
And as the earth may be considered as the 
great recipient and attractor of electrical fire, 
is it not probable that the quantity of rain 
collected will be proportioned to the distance^ 
of the receiver from the ground immediately 
below, and not to its absolute height, mea- 
sured from any distant level, except in such 
altitudes where the density of the air, and the 
vapours floating in it, are so far diminished as 
to produce a sensible variation? But I offer this 
conjecture with diffidence ; and am sensible 
indeed that the whole of my attempt to 
account for the different quantities of rain, 
which fall at different heights, is liable to ob- 
jections, because the data are yet few upon 
which it is founded. To promote the solution 
of so curious a phccnomenon, I shall here sub- 
join a few queries, proposed to me by 
different correspondents. The fourth should, 
I apprehend, be reversed, because it appears 
probable to me, that trees, plants, water, and 
moist earth, afford more copious exhalations 
than paved streets, houses, burning fuel, or 
the bodies of men. 

1, Does a glafs funnel catch an equal quan- 


tity of rain, at the same height, as a metal 
funnel ; the former being an electric, the 
latter a non-electric*? 

2. Is there a difference in the quantity of 
rain and snow catched in similar vefsels at 
different heights ? 

3. Is the difference of rain, catched at dif- 
ferent heights, greatest at the beginning of 
fi. shower ? 

4. Is not this difference greater in large 

*■ A very ingenious friend of mine, at Chester, has lately 
favoured me with the following experiments, which fur* 
nish a satisfactory answer to this query, and at the same 
time confirm the hypothesis I have advanced, by proving 
that rain contains, and discharges in its descent, the 
electrical fluid. Two vefsels of equal diameters, the one 
ofglafs, the other of tin, placed at the same height, and 
within a. foot of each other, varie4 as follows in the 
quantities of rain which they received : From April 15, 
1771, to 29, the glafs vcfsel received 0,954-, the tin vcfsel 
received 1.432. From May 5, to 30, the glafs vefsel re- 
ceived 1.630, the tin vefsel received 2.027. From June 1, 
to 28, the glafs vefsel received 2.144, the tin vefsel 
received 3.674-. 

The same accurate observer found, that in the months 
of June and July, 177 1, contrary to the common course 
of nature, a larger quantity of rain was received in the 



cities than in the country, owing to the lower 
regions of the air beinj^ more loaded with 
watery vapours, which have been exhaled by 
fires, and from the human body ? 

5. Has the v/ind no share in producing the 
disparity observed in the quantities of rain 
W'hich fall at different heights ? 

6. ^lay not- the column of air, througii 
which a drop of rain pafses, in the space of 
twenty or thirty yards, contain a sufficient 
quantity of wateiy particles to double the 

higher, than in the lower funnel. For Instance, the rain 
caught in a vefscl placed at the lop of St. John's steeple, 
from June 2, to July 1, amounted to 1.8S6, and from 
July 2, to August 3, to 1.423. Whereas a similar 
vefsel, placed- in a garden below, received during the 
same space of tirce, only 1.404-, and 0.4'52. This inverse 
proportion of rain, received at different heights, cannot 
be supposed lo depend either upon chemical or me- 
chanical principles, but may be accounted for by the 
same electrical laws, which have been adduced to ex- 
plain the more usual phaenomena of its descent. If th# 
falling showers proceeded from clouds negatively elec* 
trifled, the drops of rain would diverge more and more 
as they approached nearer to the earth, because, instead 
of communicating, they would receive some portion of 
electricity from the vapours floating in the lower region?- 
•f the atmosphere. 



bulk of the drop ? This may be illustrated by- 
precipitating any saline substance from a satu- 
rated solution of it, contained in a cylindrical 
vefsel, and examining the proportional quan- 
tities of precipitate at different heights. Or, 
perhaps, it may be determined by the following 
experiment : Take a cylindrical glafs vefsel, 
four inches in diameter, and eight inches high ; 
fill it with ice or snow, and place it in a warm 
room. A watery dew will soon be congealed 
upon its surface, which being committed to 
a nice scale, may probably be found to be 
equal in gravity to a drop of rain. Suppose 
this cylinder to be drawn out to the length o£ 
twenty or thirty yards, the surface of it will 
still continue nearly the same, though the 
diameter of it be diminished ; and such a tube 
will aptly represent the column of air through 
which a drop of rain descends in its pafsage 
to the earth. 




On the Culture of Potatoes. 

-L HE potatoe plant was first brought from 
America into Ireland by Sir Walter Raleigh. 
Though a species of the Solamim, or Night- 
shade, yet experience has most fully convinced 
us, that it is one of the best and most nutri- 
tious of all the esculent roots cultivated in 
this island. The great use and advantage of 
this vegetable, as a food, was never more 
happily experienced than four years ago, 
when an extraordinary crop*, both in quan- 
tity and quality, reduced the high prices of 
grain so much in this very populous neigh- 
bourhood f, as to give the poor an opportunity 
of buying bread upon more reasonable terms 

* From an acre and a half, statute measure, I had as 
many potatoes as sold (at the low price of Is. 3d. per 
bushel) for near 3-tl. besides serving my own family, (in 
which large quantities are consumed) and reserving 
a sufficient quantity for planting near two acres the year 

•j- Rochdale, 


than it was to be had in many of the most 
considerable corn counties of the kingdom. — 
I therefore flatter myself that it may be of use 
to point out the best methods that have 
occurred to me, not only of obtaining a large 
and good crop, but also of preparing the 
ground at the same time, and in the best 
manner, for a succeeding one of wheat. An 
object of no small importance to the farmer. 

In the first place, I shall mention the kind 
of soil that is the best and most proper for the 
culture of this excellent root. The potatoe 
plant will indeed grow in almost any soil j 
but the mere growth of the plant, or the poor 
return of a few small and insipid roots, are 
pot worthy the care and attention of the 

The soil which I would prefer above all 
others, for this plant, is the same which 
Columella recommends for vines : Necspifsum 
sit nimis, nee resolutum, propriiis tamen re* 
solulo ; nee exile iiec Letifsimiimy tamen Leto 
proximum ; nee campestre nee prceceps, sed 
potius edito campo s nee sieciim nee nimis 
uliginosum : that is, the soil should neither be 
too stiff and untractable, nor too light and 


crumbling, yet rather of the crumbling kind ; 
neither too poor nor too rich, yet inclining to 
richnefs; neither too i]:>t nor too hilly, but 
rather gently rising ; neither quite dry nor yet 
surcharged with moisture. With such a soil, 
and proper management, a noble return may 
be expected ; and the nearer any soil ap- 
proaches to the nature and qualities above 
recommended, the more proper and suitable 
it will be for the cultivation of the potatoe 
plant. But even from soils, not blefsed with 
all those desirable qualities, very beneficial 
crops may be obtained, if a little more labour 
and pains are bestowed upon the necefsary 

The different ways of preparing the ground 
for this crop, (which are either by ploughing, 
trenching, or common digging) are so well 
knowm in all, or most parts of the island, that 
it would be uselefs, as w^ell as impertinent in 
me, to give any directions on that head. I will 
only give it as my opinion (founded on some 
experience) that when the ground, intended 
for a potatoe crop, is not of any great extent, 
trenching (though the most expensive) is far 
preferable to the others, and will generally 
more than repay the additional expense. — 


I will venture also to condemn the common 
Irish way of planting, which is known and 
used in some parts of the kingdom, and is 
properly denominated the lazy-bed way. In 
this method the eyes, or sets, are placed upon 
the surface of the ground, with a little dung 
under them, and then a deep trench is made 
on each side, with the earth of which the sets 
are covered. By this horrid practice a barren, 
and perhaps noxious under- stratum of earth 
or rubble is thrown up so high as never to get 
covered again, but remains there as a woful 
exchange for some of the finest mould, that 
is buried beneath the reach of the plough. 

I shall now endeavour to point out the best 
method of planting the sets, both for the pre- 
sent crop, and also for a due preparation of 
the ground for a succeeding one of wheat. 

Tlie sets (with one good eye, or two at 
most) should be planted in rows two feet 
asunder at least, if the crop is intended to be 
cleaned with' the hand-hoe, and at the distance 
of fifteen or sixteen inches from each other in 
the rows ; after which the ground should be 
broke in with a rake or light harrow. After 
the plants are come up, the first growth of the 


weeds should be carefully observed ; and, 
taking the advantage of a dry and hot season, 
should be cut down, both betwixt and in the 
rows, and the earth hoed up a little towards 
the roots of the plants. The weeds being 
checked in their first shoot, and in such weai- 
ther, will be long before they make any con- 
siderable head again. About midsummer it 
will be necefsary to go over the ground once 
more with the hoe ; and if the advantage of 
a dry and hot season can then be taken, it 
will generally be sufficient to keep the land 
clean and free from weeds for the remainder 
of the summer, as the plants will then be 
grown so strong and bushy, as nearly to cover 
the whole surface of the ground ; and thercr 
fore, by their shade and dropping, will pre? 
vent any future growth of weeds. 

These stirrings by the hoe will keep the 
land in proper tilth, and kindly dispose it to 
receive the benign influence of the sun, air, 
and dews j and the intervals betwixt the rows 
of the plants will also allow due admifsion to 
the air, so absolutely necefsary for vegetation. 
" The air," as Bishop Berkley observes in his 
Siris, *' is the receptacle as well as source of 
" all sublunary forms, the great mafs or chaos 


" which imparts and receives them. The at- 
" mosphere which surrounds our earth, con- 
" tains a mixture of all the active volatile 
" parts of all vegetables, minerals, and 
" animals. Whatever perspires, corrupts, or 
" exhales, impregnates the air ; which, being 
** acted upon by the solar fire, (here is literally 
" conjiigis in gremhim UcLe descendit) pro- 
" duceth within itself all sorts of chemica! 
" operations, dispensing again those salts and 
'^ spirits, in new generations, which it had rc- 
" ceived from putrefactions The air, there- 
" fore, is an active mafs, composed of number- 
" lefs differ^ent principles, the general source of 
" corruption and generation, in which the 
" seeds of things seem to be latent, ready to 
" appear and produce their own kind when- 
" ever theyilight upon a proper matrix. The 
" whole atmosphere seems alive ; there is 
" every where acid to corrode, and seed to en- 
" gender, in that common seminary and re- 
" ceptacle of all vivifying principles." 

That the free admifsion and circulation oi 
air, are not only conducive, but also absolutelv 
necefsary to a speedy and vigorous growth of 
plants, might be easily proved by many ex- 
periments j but it is too obvious to everv 


one, who has taken the least notice of the 
operations of nature in the important work of 
vegetation, to need such proofs of its necefsary 
influence. Without some air, it is well known, 
vegetation would neither begin nor continue. 
Dr. Fordyce, in his Elements of Agriculture 
and Vegetation, says, that even roots require 
air ; so that if a root is planted too deep, it 
will not grow on that account. He is of 
opinion also, that light is necefsary for the 
growth of a plant, but not so much a^ 



Many growers of potatoes, froiti want of 
experience, are apt to imagine that the greater 
number of plants they have, the greater will 
be the increase. In regard to numbers it 
possibly may be so, but even that admits of 
a doubt. The true proof of the increase, or 
return, is in the weight and goodnefs of the 
crop, and not merely in the number of pitiful 
roots. In the common promiscuous and close 
way of planting, the stems of the plants are 
drawn up so high and slender, by their con- 
tiguity to each other, that they become weak 
and languid long before the proper time of 
perfecting their roots ; a certain indication of 
a miserable crop. 


The ground, as is observed by Mr. Tull, 
(to whom, not only his own country, but 
many others in Europe are so much obliged 
for laying a rational foundation for most of the 
modern improvements in husbandry) contains 
a certain quantitv o^ pabulum, or food for vege- 
tables, which, though it mav be considerably 
increased by manures, has its stated bounds, 
its ne plus ultra. The same gentleman men- 
tions an experiment that he made, \^'hich very 
fully proves the great advantage of planting 
the potatoe-sets at a considerable distance 
from each other, and also the very great utility 
of hoeing and stirring the soil well about 
them. " A piece of grounc^" says he, " was 
planted with potatoes, the greater part in the 
icommon way ; but in one part (worse than 
jthe rest) they had been set at a yard distant 
every way ; the rest of the ground ^vas 
dunged ; this poor part had no dung, but was 
ploughed four times in diiferent v/ays, so that 
the ground wa^ broken and stirred thoroughly 
every way about the potatoes. The conse- 
quence was, that though no dung was used 
here, and the plants appeared shorter than in 
the duTigeti part, yet the crop was greatly 
better than in the other part of the field. The 
pots here were all large ] in the other part 


T\'hich was dunged, and planted in the com-» 
nion way, and also without such ploughing,, 
they were so small, that the crop was scarce 
worth taking up." 

Where great quantities are planted, hoeing 
with a small light plough will be necefsary for 
despatch, and will do very well, and in some 
respects better than hand-hoeing, as the 
ground will be more effectually stirred ; but 
the weeds should be cleared at least once with 
the hand betwixt the plants in the rows j and 
care should be taken not to throw too sreat 
a quantity of earth upon the roots, as that 
would be almost fatal to the potatoes in every 
respect, but especially in the goodnefs of 
them. The plants in a healthy vigorous 
state will, by the zanbragcous defence of their 
thick leaves and stems, sufficiently protect the 
roots from the too scorching rays of the sun, 
and even retain a due degree of moisture in 
the ground, without excluding so much of his 
energetic power as is necefsary for perfecting 
the great work of vegetation : but, if the 
roots are buried too deep, that cheering and 
vivifying power of the sun is so impeded in 
exerting its necefsary influence, that the roots 
never arrive at their utmost state of perfection. 


If the potatoe-crop is intended to be drefsed 
both with the plough and the hand-hoe, two 
rows should be planted about the distance of 
eighteen inches from each other ; but the in- 
tervals, or spaces betwixt each double row, 
should be at least four feet, or there will not 
be room enough for the plough to work, with- 
out injuring the stems of the plants. If the 
crop is to be cultivated with the hoe-plough 
only, then single rows are best, leaving a space, 
as above, of four feet at least betwixt every 
row. This is a very expeditious way of 
cleaning a crop, and will answer all the pur- 
poses of hoeing very well. The way of plant- 
ing the sets for this last kind of cultivation is 
very expeditious, and is as follows : 

The ground being laid level, and in fine 
tilth, a straight furrow must be made from 
one end of the field to the other, leaving 
a space of two feet wide betwixt it and the 
verge, or border of the ploughed land. A boy 
follows after the plough, with the sets in a 
basket, and drops one at every fifteen or sixteen 
inches. When that is done, the ploughman 
turns about, and throws the furrow back 
again upon the sets, then begins with another 
furrow, leaving the proper space betwixt ^ re- 

robmic I. Z 


turns again ^ap ib6^fqr^,^nd go on till the whole 
pi€,ce .of g^^un<ji ,^s fipishjed . ■ One man, with 
a pldu.g,hL and two hordes, and two boy^, (oBig 
to keep the horses w a s,traigbt J^ne, and thfe 
other to drop in the sets) will .finish ^ large: 
quantity of land in a 4'ay. . /Whefi thew'hole 
planting is finished, the ground should be 
levelJdd by hanpw-ing. aerofs. 

i.-'jh/ ■■■.',:[ cii; . 

. ITi^is is^'tfic'.bfest method for dry land;, but 
if the ground' be moist, strong, or heavy, it 
should be- thrown into ridges of four or five 
feet each, and the sets planted on the top of 
the ridges. The depth' of the furrows also 
should vary according to the nature of the 
soil. If it be very dry and light, the furrows 
may be made five inches deep ; if moist, 
heavy, or strong, nbt above three or four at 
the most. 

Having given directions about the manage- 
ment of the crop, I shall now beg leave to 
offer my sentiments in regard to the best kinds 
of potatoes now cultivated in this neighbour- 
hood, both for summer and winter use. For 
the former, I would recommend the early red 
and white dw^arfs, and the flat white kidney, 
by some called the true Spanish potatoe : For 


the latter, the white rufset, the red rufset, the 
golden tag, the Irish dun, and the smooth 
winter white. Indeed for black earth, the 
Irish blue potatoe, and the old English reds, 
are the most proper ; as they are very hardy, 
and have strong coats or skins^ which make 
them bear moisture better than the other 
kinds. The white Lincolnshire potatoe grows 
very large, and is a most plentiful bearer ; it 
is also well flavoured, though not equal to 
some above-mentioned. But the most extra- 
ordinary potatoe of all, for producing great 
crops, is the Howard or Buckinghamshire 
potatoe. Mr. Dofsie speaks of it as a very 
nutritious and agreeable tasted root, if suf- 
ficiently boiled. Its inprease almost exceeds 
belief; on which account X shall venture to 
recommend it to the atfentioii' 'of those who 
plant potatoes as food for cattle and hogs ; 
^ practice highly to be approved. ,j^ 

Last year I planted four eyes, from one of 
those potatoes, in four different kinds of soil : 

N** 1. A strong rich loam. 
2. A light rich loam. 
8. A good gravelly soil. 
4. A sandy soil. 



The produce : 

N« 1. 34 lb. 

2. . 29 

3. 19 

4. . 15 

I shall now mention, in as concise a man- 
ner as pofsible, some other experiments I made 
last year, in order to ascertain what kind of 
manure is most af^reeable or beneficial to the 
potatoe plant. 

I had a small field which was laid down in 
lands of about five feet broad : I put the in- 
tended manures into the furrows, and then 
ploughed it in the common way, by which 
means the manures were thrown into the 
middle of all the new lands, and upon which 
I planted the sets. The rows were all exactly 
of the same length ; the very same quantity of 
sets in each row ; and all had the very same 
advantages of hoeing : 

N** 1 . Manured with coal ashes only. 

2. Stable-dun ST and coal-ashes mixed. 


3. Stable dung alone. 

4. No manure. 

9. Compost made of dung lime, and soiL 


N*' 6. Stable-dung covered with common yel- 
low mofs. 

7. Soaper's waste. 

8. Stable-dung and lime. 

9. Lime alone. 

10. Coal-ashes and lime. 

11. Stable-dung and soapcr*s waste. 

12. Soot, soil, and coal-ashes. 

13. Salt and soil. 

14. Saw-dust and coal-ashes. 

1 5. Stable-dung and saw-dust. 

16. Dung of poultry and coal-ashes. 

17. Dung of poultry and sand. 

18. Saw-dust and lime. 

19. Decayed rushes and lime. 

20. Tanners' bark and lime. 

21. Bark and stable-dung. 

22. Bark alone. 

23. Stable-dung, with lime spread over the 


24. Chopped whins, with a covering of 

lime over them. 

The produce. 
N«* 1. 211 lb. rather small in size. 

2. 344 lb. very fine. 

3. 313 1b. ditto. 

4. 1341b. very small. 



N° 5. 204 lb. middling size. 

6. 438 lb. remarkably fine. 

7. 383 lb. very fine. 

8. 268 lb. tolerably well sized, 

9. 187 1b. ditto. 

10. 192 1b. ditto. 

11. 298 lb. very good sized. 

12. 271 lb. ditto. 

13. 2001b. ditto. 

14. 190 lb. smaller in size. 

15. 307 lb. very fine. 

16. 236 1b. pretty fine. 

17. 156 lb. rather small. 

18. 197 1b. ditto. 

19. 208 lb. very good ones. 

20. 76 lb. very poor ones. 

21. 144 lb. rather larger. 

22. 35 lb. very poor. 

^S: 232" lb. pretty fine ones. 
24. 256 lb, very fine and large, 

I cai> only say in favour of this account, 
that it is very accurate. I saw the potatoes 
taken up and weighed, and also entered them 
(upon the field whe'fe they were weighed) 
into my memorandum-book, from whence the 
above account is taken. Many will be sur- 
prised at the apparent advantages arising fron;i 


the use of whins find mofs. Th»f former 1 had 
knovVn tried bcfoi-c, and with succcfsvir\ the 
culture of potatoes ; and the latter I found 
ranked at the head of a clafs, termed the 
fatltning manures, in a periodical work, 
published at Paris under the title ol Journal 

As stable-dung and mofs seemed, from the 
;above experiments, to have the advantages 
over all the rest, I was determined to make 
a fair trial of their respective merits. Accord- 
ingly I had tvv^o rows of potatoe-sets planted 
alternately upon sta,ble-dung and mofs, so that 
there could be no advantage, either from soil, 
exposure, or cultivation, to one plant more 
than another. I had one row dug up in my 
presence, and immediately weighed. The, 
consequence was, the crops were so equal in 
weight, that the balance could not determine 
-the difference. Those that came from the 
-dunged plants were more in number, the 
others better and more equally sized. 

The last experiment was made upon some 
seedling potatoes, called the Ogdcn Seedlings^ 
raised the preceding year from one of the 
forward kinds. They promife much, both for 



goodnefs and perfecting their roots very early. 
All our varieties have been procured from the 
seed, and more may be expected : This is 
certainly the best method to keep our present 
sorts from degenerating. 

This year I took up one row of potatoes^ 
part of which was manured with stable-dung 
and coal-ashes, the other with the same quan- 
tity of stable-dung and mofs. The conse- 
quence was, that those from the dung and 
mofs, not only exceeded the other in size, but 
were about a third more in weight. The 
soil and cultivation the same. 

Many inferences may be deduced from 
the above experiments, some of which are 
very obvious ; as that mofs is a very good 
manure for potatoes ; stable-dung very good 
and proper ; coal-ashes the same, but not 
equal to the former; soapers' waste a very 
good one, but it is too dear, as well as difficult 
to be obtained in large quantities. 



On the Analogy between Plants and Animals, 


N a former efsay, the laws of vegetation 
were plainly discovered to be analogous to 
those maintained throughout the animal world. 
Andif we extend our inquiries, we may trace the 
connection so far, that it would be difficult to 
determine where it ceases. 

It is amazing to observe the infinite wis- 
dom of the Creator in his works, and the en- 
tire dependence which one part of them has 
upon the other. We, who at best can only 
reason from second, and those very imperfect 
causes, must necefsarily stand amazed when- 
ever we contemplate the works of the creation. 

It is our duty, however, to extend all in- 
quiries, which are subservient to the advantage 
of. society, to the highest pitch of perfection 
in our power. The study of nature can never 
be sufficiently attended to. Nor can agricul- 


ture be ever brought to perfection, till a just 
theory be drawn out from the walk of nature 
herself. She is so bountiful to us, that her 
treasure is never exhausted ; and the more dif- 
coveries we make, the more we find intirely 
^unknown to us. 

It is true the vegetable world is a very 
pafsive one. The want of sensation, and the 
means of self-preservation, render it efsentially 
different from the animal world. In most 
other points, the image of the one may be 
distinctly traced in the mirror of the other. 
They have a code of laws draXvn up for them 
by the Author of Nature himself, and to it 
they steadily adhere. 

It need scarce be remarked, that nature 
observes her stages and periods of life, in the 
vegetable, -as well as in the animal world. We 
observe the greatest tendernefs and delicacy 
lii the first growth of every plant. Their 
maturity wears every mark of health and 
viigour:. and this is the period for produce 
and increase. Vegetables, as well as animals, 
afford strong evidences of the decline of life. 
When nature has run its course, we observe 
the brawny oak" gradually decay : hoary old 


age tumbles it into ruins, and (lie place thereof 
hionietJi it no more. 

Some plants are of longer duration than 
others. Annuals, Biennials, Perennials may 
all be observed within a very narrow compafs 
of ground. Some produce flowers but once 
in the time of their existence, and then ex- 
haust their own life in giving it to their 
offspring. One revolving sun often measures 
the duration of bthei" flowers, particularly the 
Ceres, which, like children, frequently come 
into the world, as it weVe, but to try to live. 

We certainly may imagine, with great 
tfuth, that plants have few offices to perform. 
And yet nature has afsigned them more than 
vC'^'are avt^are of, for our use as well as in- 
-^tructlon. The story of the sun-flower in 
Ovid's Metamorphoses, is confirmed by dail/ 
observation. Thomson beautifully describes 
it's affection : 

But one, the lofty follower of the sun, 
Sad when he sets, shuts up her yellow leaves. 
Drooping all night; and when he warm returns, 
Points her enamour'd bosom to his ray. 

' Most of the diScbus flowers, by some elastic 


power unknown to us, follow the sun in its 
course. They attend him to his evening re- 
treat, and meet his rising lustre in the morn- 
ing with the same constant and unerring 

Vegetables enjoy their periods of sleep and 
rest ecjually with the animal world. The 
common goat's-beard seems designed to re- 
mind us of the sun pafsing the meridian, by 
closing up its flowers at that time ; whilst all 
the trefoils serve as a barometer to the 
husbandman, by constantly contracting their 
leaves against an impending storm. I need 
scarce mention the contracting qualities of 
the tamarind, acasia, sensitive plant, the com- 
mon whitlow-grafses, and cuckoo-bread, to 
strengthen my afscrtions. They are facts 
sujiiciently known to mankind in general. 

In the animal world we observe, that many 
creatures undergo various changes during the 
course of their existence. The caterpillar, in 
particular, undergoes several changes before 
it produces a butterfly. The very same efl^ects 
may be traced in the vegetable world. Who 
could imagine, without knowing the fact, that 
ivy, in its infant state, bears lanceolated leaves. 


and produces neither flowers nor fruit ? In its 
next state the leaves are quinquelobed, and 
the plant adheres, in a barren state, to trees 
and rocks for support. Three years generally 
elapse, like a peacock in getting his plumes, 
before it branches out into a troe, with 
trilobed leaves, and produces both flowers and 
fruit. And it is still as wonderful to observe 
that it finishes its growth with plain oval 

Diseases are as incidental to plants as ani- 
mals. The amputation of a limb, or the lofs 
of it by the violence of a tempest, spoils the 
symmetry of the plant, and retards its growth. 
The vine bleeds too much if it be pruned by 
an unskilful hand, or at an improper season. 
The orchard refuses its crop of apples, if we 
use the knife frequently or improperly. — 
Canker, on another hand, corrodes the very- 
vitals of existence. And nothing is so com- 
mon as to see insects and vermine destroy the 
most vigorous shoots. Excefsive drought, or 
intense cold, and above all, an improper soil, 
shoot the arrows of certain death. "We readily 
allow that an inhabitant of the Torrid Zone 
would soon be starved to death in Greenland 
•r Lapland : But we forget that the same wise 


Creator pfal^ thbgs^ h^s, also appropriated 
a proper. soil,^ij^ .qlij^te to,;^]^e^^|pp)^U ^^ 

i;:70fr '3 


On Experiments. 

J1*Xperiments correctly made, and fairly 
related, form the data on which agriculture 
should be founded. To plan an experiment 
well, to trace it minutely through its progrefs, 
and to draw a just conclusion, is expected 
from the philosopher. And yet experiments 
that spring from chance more than reason, 
should not be neglected. The following 
experiments, with some short pieces of prac- 
tical information, have been transmitted to me. 
Their authenticity and correctnefs sufficiently 
recommend them. 

Experiment 1. 

On the';OU-Compp^tfi,^i ,^ 

In the month of June I selected four lands, 
of equal goodnefs, in a field intended for 
turnips. The soil was a light sand, with 

*By A. Hunter,M.I). 


a smaH portion of vegetablQ. earth amongst 
it. It was ploughed out of sward in November^ 
ajad -had upt borne a crop for many years. 
I sliall distinguish my experimental lands by 
N« 1. 2. 3. ,4. 

N® 1. was manured with rotten dung. 

2. wi til oil-compost. 

3. with lime. 

4. was left without any drefsing. 

On the 20th of June they were all sowq 
with turnip-seed, broad-cast, and during the 
course of the season were twice hoed. 

In November I viewed the field, and mad« 
the following remarks : , [ 


N« 1.— the^best , 

2. — the next. 

3. — the worst. 

4.— better than N** S. 

Here the oil-compost appears in a favour- 
able light ; but other trials, made with equal 
accuracy, seem rather to, prove that it is no): 
proper for turnips, barley, or quick-growing 
vegetables. It requires being meliorated by 
the action of the atmosphere, and therefore 


IS better adapted to winter crops. By re- 
peated experiments made since the publica- 
tion of the first edition of this efsay, I am 
convinced that the addition of an alkaline salt 
is not sufficient to alter the nature of oil, so as 
to make it fully capable of entering into the 
roots of plants in its native form : But when 
decomposed by the mixture of fresh dung, I 
am convinced that it then becomes the true 
pabulum of plants. The farmer considers car- 
feone as giving to " airy nothing a local habi- 
tation and a name." 

When the land happens to be stifFer than 
Is required for turnips, it may be good hus- 
bandry to lay upon it a large quantity of lime 
to open its body for the free admifsion of the 
tap-root of the turnip. The lands will also be 
rendered more dry, without which the turnips 
will never arrive at any size. Farmers, in 
general, take great pains to pulverize their 
light soils intended for turnips ; but they 
seldom plough deep enough. A turnip is 
found to root deep, and in all operations oP 
husbandry we should be careful to follow the, 
bias of nature. It is for that reason we ought 
to make ourselves acquainted with the size 
and shape of the roots of such plants as arc 


objects of field-husbandry. "When once we 
have obtained that necefsary knowledge, it 
will be an easy matter to suit the preparation 
of the soil to the nature of the grain. It will 
also enable us to direct the variations of our 
crops upon just and rational principles. 

It is abundantly evidently that all plants 
live upon the same food. Some require more, 
some lefs. Some take it near the surface, 
others take it deeper. Upon these principles 
we may account for the necefsity of varying 
the crops in the old husbandry. The old drill 
husbandry makes all change of species un- 
necefsary. In it all kinds of grain may be 
suited to the lands most proper for them. The 
succefs of that sort of husbandry, when pro- 
perly conducted, proves to a demonstration 
that all plants are nourished by the same 
food. That food, I apprehend, consists chiefly 
of oily and mucilaginous particles. 

It is of great moment to fix upon what is 
really the nutriment of vegetables, as it will 
enable us to conduct our compost dunghills 
upon just and rational principles. The doc- 
trine of manures is but little understood. The 
farmer should at all times retain in his memory 

Volume /. A a 


a general idea of them. He may divide 
manures into four kinds. 

1. Such as give nourishment only; as rape- 
dust, soot, malt-dust, oil-compost, blood- 
compost, pigeon dung, and all hand- 

2. Such as give nourishment, and p.dd to 
the soil 3 as horse dung, cows dung, human 
ordure, rotten animal and vegetable sub- 

3 . Such as open the soil, and do not nourish 
in their own nature ; as lime, light marlsjj 
sand, and vegetable ashes, 

4. Such as stiffen the soil, and at the same 
time nourish a little j as clay, clay maris, and 

An attention to these general remarks, and 
a few cbserv'ations upon the opennefs, stiff- 
nefs, and depth of the different soils, will 
enable the farmer to lay down a rational sys- 
tem of cultivation 

The theory of Agriculture being but little 



understood, it is no wonder that the prac- 
tice has remained for ages, so vague and 
uncertain ; but I flatter myself that the time 
is advancing when the husbandman, will 
vie with the gardener in the rationality of 
his employment. 


On Miumring Meadow Lands'-. 

It is a general practice for the farmers in 
the southern counties to manure their mea- 
dow lands at Christmas. We, on the contrary, 
put it on as soon as pofsible after the sithe. I 
have made a number of trials with a view to de- 
termine the merit of each respective way, and 
dare venture to say that it is better to manure 
when there is some life in the grafs, than at 
a time when all vegetation is stopt. 

The southern farmers alledge, that the 
volatile parts of the dung may, during that hot 
season, be exhaled by the sun. I grant that 
this objection may have some weight; but it 
must be considered that rain frequently falls 

» By Mr. T. Bond, of Hewortb, near York. 

A a 2 


at that se.ason of the year, a small quantity of 
which will be sufficient to wash the dung 
amongst the old foots of the gtafs, which, by- 
shading it from the rays of the sun, enables it 
to preserve its vigour. This effect is the more 
readily accomplished, as we constantly employ 
a heavy bush-harrow to spread the dung 
equally upon the ground. By following this 
method, our aftermath generally becomes 
luxuriant. Besides, it more effectually en- 
courages tiie shoctin<r of the voung ?rafs in 
the spring. The roots of all perennial grafses 
renew themselves by off-sets, and die after 
they have perfected their seed. The manure, 
when laid to the old roots, invigorates the off- 
sets, by keeping them warm during the 
winter. Lands manured after the sithe, are 
not so easih' frozen as those which have not 
been drefscd in that manner. This is an un- 
doubted fact, and proves greatly in favour of 
the nortlicrn husbandrv. After very severe 
winters, the young grafs that should have 
branched out from the old roots is frequently 
killed. The seeds also which were shed in 
July, being young and tender, are often de- 
stroyed. Our manner of drefsing affords 
them a certain protection in the severest 
seasons. It may be objected, that dung, laid 


on after the sithe, may render the aftermath 
disagreeable to the cattle. But our farmers 
do not practically find that inconvenience. 
Could we always be sure of a shower of rain 
within a few days after laying on the manure, 
our method would then, incontestibly, be the 
best ; but, even without that certainty, I find 
it better than the other. 


On a neti) Kind of A/amire* . 

All kinds of animal substances go into 
spontaneous putrefaction. Vegetables do the 
same ; but to effect their entire difsolution, 
a greater degree of heat is required. I do not 
mean in this place to treat of the various 
manures made use of by the farmer. It 
would be carrying me into a field too ex- 
tensive for my limited design. The first 
experiment contains some general remarks 
upon this head, which the intelligent husband- 
man may easily improve into a system. 

The bounty granted by Parliament for the 
encouragement of the whale fishery, has been 

* By A. Hunter, M. D. 

Aa 3 


the means of saving an immense sum to this 
nation. The Dutch used formerly to mono- 
polize the trade ; but by the wisdom of the 
legislature, we now enjoy a considerable share 
of it. In a former efsav, I have endeavoured 
to show that train-oil made into a compost 
with pot-ash, makes a good succedaneum 
for dung. A number of experiments, made 
by very accurate observers, seem to establish 
the opinion. 

When the oil has been taken from the 
blubber, by the action of boiling water, the 
remaining part is thrown into the sea. I have 
Jong laniented that no person has ever con- 
sidered this fatty substance in the light of 
a m.anure. It is an animal body, and, beyond 
all doubt, capable of being reduced, by putre- 
faction, into a rich food for vegetables. The 
. only thing tliat remains, is to direct the farmer 
in the manner of its application. 

In Sdptember^ 1770, I collected about 
a ton of it, which I mixed into a heap with 
tour loads of trebh horse dung. This spring 
I propose to mix it up with a proportionable 
quantity of such materials as are usuallv col- 
lected for forming a compost dunghill, and 


I flatter myself that it will prove a rich and 
cheap compost. I do not take upon me to 
say that this is the best method of using the 
whale flesh. It will give me pleasure to hear 
that others have applied it differently, being 
well afsured that perfection can only be 
attained by the concurring afsistance of many. 
I boast of no other merit beyond giving the 
original hint. There was a time when the 
richest manures, produced in cities and large 
towns, were either conveyed into the sea, or 
thrown into rivers. We have now the satis- 
faction to see that method universally con- 

In order to encourage the farmer to seek 
after the refuse of train oil, I might observe 
that no manure has hitherto been found of 
a richer quality than the putnd offal of fish. — 
In some parts of Cornwall they manure their 
lands with pilchards in a plentiful season, and 
find that no manure equals them in richnefs. 

It is allowed on all hands, that putrid veget- 
ables make good manure ; but it should be 
remembered, that animal bodies, when re- 
duced into the same state, act more power- 
fully, and preserve tlic land much longer in 
strength and vigour. 

A a 4 


We cannot pay too much attention to every 
thing that relates to manures ; without their 
afsi stance the richest soils would soon be re- 
duced, by frequent cropping, to a barren state. 
It is pleasing to observe how the difsolution 
of one body is necefsary for the life and in- 
crease of another. All nature is in motion. 
In co4is,equence of the putrid fermentation 
that is every where carried on, a quantity of 
vegetable nutriment ascends into the atmos- 
phere. Summer showers return much of it 
3gain I but part falls into the sea, and is lost. 
To this we may add the animal and vegetable 
substances consumed on board of ships, all of 
which are buried in the ocean. The industry 
of man restores them again, but in a different 
form-; and we may presume that the fish 
taken from the sea, leave a balance in favour 
of mankind. Thus Providence, with the most 
consummate wisdom, keeps up the necefsary 
rotation of things. 


On the Oil-Compost*. 

In the month of May I planted twelve 
alleys, that lay between my asparagus beds, 

* By Mr. Roebuck, gardener, in York. 


with cauliflower plants. Each alley took up 
about thirty plants. One of the alleys I set 
apart for an experiment with the oil-compost, 
which was prepared according to the direc- 
tions given in the first volume of the Georgical 

About a handful of the compost was put to 
the root of each cauliflower plant. In all 
other respects the alley was managed like the 
rest. The plants in general flowered very 
well ; but those to which I applied the com- 
post, sprung up hastily with small stalks, and 
produced very poor flowers. 

I imputed this unfavourable appearance to 
the freshnefs of the compost, which was only 
a few weeks old. In all future trials, I shall 
expose it to the action of the air, in order to 
abate the heat, and neutralize the acrimony 
of the salt. 

In the September following this unsuccefs- 
ful experiment, I planted the same alleys with 
early cabbages. The necefsity of meliorating 
the compost, was in this trial fully contirmed. 
For the cabbages that grew upon the alley, 
which in May had received the compost. 


were larger, and in all respects finer, than th^ 

The idea that I entertain of the compost is, 
that, when meliorated in the earth, it is ca- 
pable of giv^ing a richnefs and frcshnefs to it. 
Upon this principle I would recommend it 
to gardeners as a subject worthy of further 


On Siberian Spring-Wheat*'. 

On the 14th of April, 1770, I sowed three 
bushels and a half of the Siberian spring- 
wheat on an acre, and reaped it with the first 
wheat In the neighbourhood. I had thirty 
stocks, which yielded above three pecks per 
stook. The wheat weighed four stone six 
pouods per bushel. 

^ I. 

On the Ilcrjcard, or large Bedfordshire Potatoef. 

By ail the experiments that have been made, 
the Howard potatoe is found to produce the 

* By M. DocisworUi, E'^q. of Craike Hall, 
t B^ T. B. Bayley. Esq- of Hope. 


largest crop. On that account they are chiefly 
used in feeding of cattle. In two beds, four 
feet wide, and two hundred feet long, I planted 
irt a common field a sufficient number of sets 
of this kind of potatoe, and managed them by 
the horse-hoe. The produce was sixty-four 
bushels, each bushel, up-heaped, weighing 
about 70 lb. My cattle eat them boiled, with 
as much eagernefs-as the best sorts, and came 
on as well with them. I have built a boiling: 
house, &C. on Mr. Young's plan, and during 
this whole winter have boiled potatoes for my 
cattle. For the fattening ones, I mix ground 
oats with them ; and for the milk cows, malt- 
dust ; and dare venture to affirm that they are 
much more profitable than either turnips or 
cabbages. Once, when my potatoes grew 
low, I desisted giving them to the milking 
cows. Immediately, though fed with the 
best hay, they fell off amazingly in their milk. 
I therefore began again, and in a week's time 
they gave better than one-third more butter. 
I own this accidental discovery gave me much 
satisfaction, as it confirmed my opinion, that 
potatoes boiled are an excellent winter food 
for cattle. Their culture is not so difficult, at 
least not so precarious, as either turnips or 
cabbages. Their value is superior, and there 

580 pEORQICAl- ?$SAYS. 

is no risk of their giving a disagreeable taste 
either to butter or milk. Add to this the vast 
increase of the Howard potatoe, and its 
equality with the best sorts when used for 


On the Increase of Potatoes*. 
My gardener cut a large potatoe into nine 
pieces, which he planted with dung, in a drill, 
in the garden. By earthing up and laying 
the shoots, he produced 575 sizeable pota- 
toes, which weighed 8 st. 8 lb. Another 
of my servants produced, in the field, 7st. of 
good potatoes from the same number of sets. 
Though this experimcLi cannot always be 
executed in its full force in an extensive scale, 
it ought notwithstanding to be imitated as 
nearly as circumstances will allow. It shows, 
in the most distinguishing manner, the use of 
clean and careful husbandry. . 


On the Increase of Potatoes-^. 

On the \ 4th of April, I cut a large white 
potatoe into sevent-en sets, which were 
planted in as many hillocks, at the distance of 

* By George Wilson, Esq. ofBrough. 
t By Mr. John Williams, near Coventry. 


four feet. In the course of growing, the 
plants were earthed up, and upon the 1 4th of 
October the crop was taken up: The produce, 
ten pecks of sizeable potatoes. At the time 
that this experiment was made, I had several 
hillocks, in which I put three and four sets of 
the same kind of potatoe. But, upon the 
most careful examination, I could not observe 
that these hillocks produced a greater crop 
than the others planted with a single set.— 
Hence it is obvious, that the potatoe spreads 
its roots most kindly when least crowded. 


On the Oil-Co77ipost*. 
In the year 1769, I made the followmg 
trial with the oil-compost, which was pre- 
pared agreeable to the directions given in 

t^^^^ ^^'^y- Produce. 

One acre, sown with bar-^ 1. s. d. q. b. p. 

ley, and manured with > 18 5 5 

oil-compost ) 

One acre adjoining, sown^ 

with barley, and m'^i-f 3 ^ q ^ 3 ^ 

nured with rotten dung, C 

twelve loads, worth J 

Difference 112 

* By James Stovin, Esq. of Doncaster. 


The compost barley was bolder and better 
corn than the other. 

In the year 1770, the dunged acre produced 
of rye, three quarters. The compost acre, of 
ditto, two quarters six bushels. 

In the year 1771, the same lands were sown 
with oats, and the produce was greatly in 
favour of the dunged acre This last experi- 
ment, being contrary to the idea of good 
husbandry, was made with a view to deter- 
mine the absolute strength of the compost. 
All top-drefsings are exhausted in the year. 
The oil-compost seems to retain its vigour 
longer. It will here be proper to observe, 
that these experimental lands were in a com- 
mon field, which had been many years under 
the plough. 


On the Oil-Compost* . 

In the spring 1770, I prepared a piece of 
ground for onions. It was laid out into six 
beds of equal size, and all sown at the same 

* By Richard Townley, Esq. of Belfield. 


Over two of them, the oil-compost was 
scattered in a very moderate quantity. Over 
other two, pigeon-dung. And over the re- 
maining two, some of my weed-compost, 
which I esteem one of the best manures, for 
most vegetables, that can be made*'. 

The onions came up very well in all the 
beds; but, in about six weeks, those that 
were, fed with the oil-composr plainly distin- 
guished the advantage they had over the rest, 
by their luxuriancy and colour ; and, at the 
end of the summer, perfected the finest crop 
that 1 had ever seen, beinj^ greatly superior 
to the others both in quantity and size. 

The same spring I made an experiment 
ypon four rows of cabbages, set at the dis-- 
tance of four feet every way. Tv.o were 
manured with the oil-compost, and two with 
my own. Ail the plants were unluckily 
damaged, just before they began to foini, by 
some turkies getting into the field, and pluck- 
ing off the greatest part of the leaves. How-. 
ever, they so far recovered as to weigh, in the' 

* This compost is formed of vegetable substances re- 
duced into putrefaction. 


September following, from 22 to 28 lb. a-piece. 
The rows proved so equal in goodnefs, that 
I could not determine which had the ad- 

The same year, one part of a field of wheat 
exposed to the north-east winds, which that 
spring continued to blow for a month or five 
wrecks, appeared very poor and languid at the 
time of tillering. Over it I ordered some of 
the oil-compost to be sown with the hand, 
which not only recovered, but also pushed 
forwards the wheat plants in that part of the 
field, so as to make them little inferior, if any, 
to the rest. 

The same spring I made a comparative ex- 
periment upon four contiguous lands of oats, 
between the oil-compost and my own weed- 
compost. The latter had manifestly the 
advantage, though the other produced a very 
fine and large crop. I also tried the oil- 
compost upon carrots, and it answered ex- 
ceedingly well. I did the same this year, 
(1771) both upon them and my onions; and 
have the finest crops of those vegetables 
I ever saw any where upon the same com* 
pafs of ground. 



To make a rich Compost of Pojid-mud, 5sV*. 

We may naturally suppose that the mud of 
ponds, in general, is of a rich nature, when 
we consider the materials of which it is com- 
posed. First, Ponds, from the lovvnefs of their 
situation, receive the drainage, and conse- 
quently the riches' of the adjacent lands 
around them. Secondly, A supply of various 
matter is constantly brought by the wind, and 
particularly the leaves of trees during the 
winter season. Lastly, Cattle afford the 
greatest supply by their dung and urine, as 
they frequent ponds at most seasons, but 
chiefly in warm weather. 

Let the pond be cleaned out any time 
during the summer 3 if the mud is soft and 
slimy when taken out, it will be proper to let it 
lie a short time near the pond bank to harden; 
Then mark out a staddie, in proportion to 
the quantity of mud taken out, which if not 
very considerable, the first course, or founda- 
tion of the intended heap, may be made of 
common mould, taken from any mound, 

* By Mr. William Speechly. 
Volume I. B b 


hillock, &c. where it is most convenient, 
which should be laid at least one foot thick ; 
upon this lay a cours.e of dung, fresh from the 
stable, fourteen or fifteen inches in thicknefs : 
next put a layer of pond-mud, nine or ten 
inches thick, upon which lay a course of lime, 
fresh from the kiln, five or she inches thick ; 
and so alternately a layer of dung and lime 
between every two layers of pond-mud, till the 
whole is finished. In this place it should be 
remarked, that it is absolutely necefsary to 
separate the layers of lime apd* dung by 
a layer of pond-mud. 

In places where they can be got, the offal 
of animals, soot, saw-dusty sweepings of 
streets, or in short any vegetable or animal 
substance that is reducible, will be exceed- 
ingly proper to add to the compost. The 
whole may be covered with a coat of common 
mould. The dung and lime will occasion 
a gentle ferment throughout the whole mafs^ 
the bottom layer excepted. 

After the heap has lain three or four 
months, it should be turned over with the 
spade, and by the next spring it will be ready 
to lay upon tillage land 5 but if it is intended 


to be used as a top-drefsing, it should then 
continue in the heap till the following winter, 
by which time it will become a fine rich com- 
post, exceedingly proper for that purpose. — 
In the latter instance, a good crop of potatoes 
may be got upon the heap, and it will save 
expense and trouble in w^eeding. 

The quantity of mould in the bottom liayer, 
and also in the coveting, may be varied at 


On protecting Wall Fruit*. 

Hearing that covering fruit-trees growing 
against a vvall, would protect them from the 
effects of frost, at the time when the blofsoms 
make their appearance, I determined on 
making the trial upon a well-spread Apricot- 
tree, which grew upon a south wall j and 
in order that the Experiment should .prove 
conclusive, I covered one half of the tree 
with a net, leaving the other half exposed 
to the weather. The consequence was, 
the covered branches produced fruit abun- 
dantly, while the exposed branches did not 

* By William Duffin, Esq. 



bear a single apricot. The net was put 
on when the blofsoms made their first appear- 
ance, and kept on till the fruit was fairly set. 
I observed on this experiment, that the net 
attracted the moisture of the atmosphere, 
which occasioned the threads of the meshes 
to be constantly covered with ice, when the 
evenings and mornings were disposed to be 


How to improve the Turf of poor Pasture Lands*. 

It is well known that the turf on poor land, 
constantly gets worse a few years after having 
been laid down for pasture. The cause is 
obvious. There are a few spirey grafses, 
natural to most poor lands, and these are 
called natural grafses. The seeds of clover, 
and other kinds of grafses introduced, are 
generally termed artificial. The roots of these 
are not very durable on poor land, and as 
cattle are greedy of these grafses, they con- 
stantly crop themi and prevent their going 
into seed, whereby the land is deprived of 
fresh supplies of young plants ; whereas the 
natural grafses, in general, being much iur 

* By Mr. William Speechly. 


ferlor to the former in quality, are refused by 
cattle, and the land, consequently, soon be- 
comes plentifully stocked with them. 

The general mode of practice to improve 
land when the turf gets thin and bad, is to 
bring it under a course of ploughing. But 
when that is not convenient, or when the occu- 
pier of such lands is not inclined to introduce 
the plough, they may be greatly improved by 
having fresh seed sown upon them. The 
best season for doing it is in the beginning of 
April. Let the ground first be well worked 
over with a heavy bush harrow, this will brush 
up and raise the soil, and the better prepare 
it for the seed to strike. A drefsing of 
compost-earth should then be given, and the 
seed sown thereon ; after which, let the 
ground be lightly brushed over, and well 
rolled. If the season prove moist and kind, 
the seed will thrive to admiration, and 
wonderfully improve both the turf and ver- 

Land that has been greatly cut up by 
carriages, or much trode up by cattle, is also 
capable of being thus improved, without the 
drefsing of compost-earth. 



In paddocks where the land has been cut up 
even to an extreme degree, by rude and wait- 
ton horses, I have seen a new and verdant 
turf arise, even to amazement, in a few weeks 
after sowing the seeds. It will be necefsary 
to observe, that cattle should be prevented 
from coming upon the land till the turf get 
well set. 

It were much to be wished that farmers 
Would at all times pay the utmost attention to 
the saving of hay-seeds, but particularly at 
the season of making the hay-ricks ; a con- 
sideration of great importance. Large quan- 
tities of seed may be saved, by having a cloth 
constantly kept between the rick and the 
waggon, at the time of unloading the hay. 
The seeds, that shell out at that season are 
certainly in the greatest perfection, being per- 
fectly ripe, and totally uninjured by the heat- 
ing of the hay. 


IIo'u) to renovate an old Mulberry-tree*. 

It often happens that old Mulberry-trees 
become bad bearers, or cast their fruit before 

* jB V Mr. William Speeclil/. 


It comes to maturity. In either of these 
cases, let a trench be cut about two feet deep 
round the tree, and about four feet from the 
bole. Let this trench be filled with fresh 
mould, enriched with cow-dung ; and as the 
large roots may be raised without incon- 
venience, let the compost be put under them, 
so as to make the bed, over which the tree 
stands, as rich as pofsible. At the same time, 
let the old wood be cut from the head of tha 
tree, in order that the young wood may have 
space to grow in. These operations being 
judiciously conducted, you will, in a few 
years, have an old tree converted into a youn"- 
one. Let it also be observed, that, if you 
expect plenty of fruit, you must never permit 
the ground to be cropped near the tree, for 
by the spade, the feeding fibres of the roots 
will be cut off at the time when the fruit -re- 
quires the utmost nourishment. 


A general Idea of the Oil-Compost*. 

This compost was originally formed upon 
the supposition that oily particles constitute 
the chief nourishment of vegetables. The use 

* By A. Hunter, M.D. 



of rape-dust, and other oily and saponaceous 
manures, place this doctrine in a favourable 
light. It now remains that we determine the 
merit of the compost by accurate experiments. 

The oil-compost may be used two ways: It 
ynay either be sown upon the surface with the 
hand, or worked into the soil by the plough or 
spade. For corn and horizontal feeders, the 
first method is most proper. The latter is best 
for cabbages, hops, beans, carrots, and all 
tap-rooted plants. When distributed upon 
the surface, it is soon meliorated by the action 
of the air, rains, and dews. When worked 
into the soil, it is deprived of those necefsary 
influences. Here lies a material distinction 
which leads to its right use and application. 

Previous to the planting of any deep-rooting 
vegetable, the compost should be worked into 
the soil by the plough or spade. Its particles, 
when undivided, are too hot for the tender 

Some injudicious inquirers have placed a 
handful of the compost close to the roots of a 
cabbage plant, flattering themselves that they 
were then conducting an experiment u?n crucis. 


Death, or a feeble vegetation, ensued. Hence 
arose an argument against the nutritive power 
of the compost. Lime, the ashes of burnt ve- 
getables, stale urine, goose and pig-dung, 
when improperly applied, are also poisons. It 
requires some judgment to plan, as well as to 
reason upon an experiment. 

Experiments correctly made, constitute the 
basis on which agriculture fliould be raised; 
but those experiments should rather be the ef- 
fect of reason than of chance. To plan an 
experiment well, to trace it minutely through 
its progrefs, and to draw a just conclusion, re- 
quires a perfect knowledge of the history of 
nature and of art. From a defect in these par- 
ticulars, we often become hasty in our praise, 
as well as indiscreet in our censure. 

From a variety of experiments, I find that 
the compost should be prepared some months 
before it is used : It should also be frequently 
turned and exposed to the influence of the 
atmosphere. This last operation is absolutely 
necefsary when the compost is intended to be 
worked into the soil with the spade. By that 
means the acrimony of the salt will be abated, 
and the plant, instead of being burnt up, will 


be encouraged to spread it& roots in quest of 

It will here be necefsary to observe, that the 
oil-compost was originally intended as a substi- 
tute for rape-dust, and other expensive top-* 
drefsings. In all respects it must be considered 
as inferior to rotten dung. 


A profitable Method of sowing Wheat on Land tds 
strong for Turnips*, 

In the year 3 768, I had a field about six 
acres, which, in the common course of hus- 
bandry, should have been summer-fallowed, 
in order to prepare it for sowing wheat at the 
latter end of the year. The soil being a loose 
crumbling clay, I sowed it with rape, about 
a fortnight before midsummer, instead of fal- 

On the 25th of September, it was stocked 
with sheep, and eat close to the ground 3 and 
about a month after that, it was sown with 

* By Mr. E. Cleaver, of Nunnington. 


wheat upon one ploughing. The winter being 
open, great part of the rape, which was 
ploughed in, revived in the spring. This, I 
feared, would endanger the crop. In that 
situation things remained till about the 20th 
of April, at which time I thought the rape was 
in full sap. I therefore judged this the most 
favourable season for destroying it. For that 
purpose I turned in as many ewes and lambs 
as eat both rape and wheat down in a week j 
and this had the desired effect, by utterly de- 
stroying the rape. The field was then left to 
take its chance. As no weeds appeared, ther© 
was no expense upon that article. The pro- 
duce was thirty-six bushels per acre, Malton 
measure, which is five per cent, above Win- 

I must here observe, that the year 1769 was 
remarkable for the largenefs of its produce on 
lands in general ; and, though I am very in- 
clinable to prefer this method of cultivating 
wheat, yet, upon an average, I should think 
that twenty-eight bushels per acre is as much 
as we can reasonably expect, though the land 
be in good condition. 

I say I am inclined to prefer this method. 


because turnips would be of little value to eat 
off on that kind of land, and at that early sea- 
son of the year, when they are not sufficiently 
swelled. Were we, in order to remove that 
difficulty, to sow them earlier than the usual 
season, they would probably be either thick- 
necked or run to seed. 

It will hardly be necefsary to observe, that 
the corn produced upon this field was remark- 
able for the goodnefs of its quality. 


S 6 bushels of wheat at 5s. £9 O O 
Rape eatage at Michaelmas 1 10 O 
Ditto in April 5 

Per acre 10 15 O 


On Siberian Spring Wheat *. 

On the 2d of April, 1771, I drilled two 
pecks of Siberian spring-wheat on one-third of 
an acre, in rows one foot asunder. Previous 

• By Sir Digby Legard, Bart, of Ganlon. 


to sowing, the wheat was limed iii the usual 
manner. The land a rich loam, which had 
borne a crop of turnips fed off with sheep. 
The turnips were fine ones, and the land, which 
lets at sixteen shillings per acre, was in such 
good order, that I judged one ploughing a 
sufficient preparation for the wheat crop. The 
season was at first unkindly, and the corn cam^ 
up very thin, witli many weeds amongst it. 
It was hand-hoed, and soon after flourished 
and tillered amazingly. I'hough it appeared 
fine about the time of maturity, there were, 
notwithilanding, marly weeds amongst it, and 
it did not seem quite a full crop.. In the be- 
ginning of October the corn was cut, and on 
the 19th of the same month was thrashed. 
The produce, 12 bushels, 2 pecks, viz. 25 for 1 . 
'This appears a considerable produce on the 
seed sown. The grain was well ripened, and 
in appearance (for I have not yet sent it to the 
mill) not inferior to any of the common wheats 
sown at the usual time. This kind of wheat 
seems a real acquisition to husbandry j and yet 
some common white wheat, sown at the same 
time, had the appearance, whilst growing, of 
producing somewhat a larger crop, only it did 
not ripen so kindly, and was also later in ripen- 
ing. But if this Siberian wheat was superior 


to the common spring-wheat, it was certainly 
greatly inferior to some wheat of Switzerland 
sent me by the Society of Arts, and sown on 
Jand contiguous to the above, and at the same 
time. This last was as fine a crop as one could 
look on, ripened a fortnight sooner than any 
of my spring-wheats, and was as early as any 
of the autumnal sorts. 


On the Method of raising Seedling Potatoes^. 

Take a bunch of the apples of a white pota? 
toe. Hang it up in a dry place during the 
winter, and in February separate the seeds 
from the pulp, by washing the apples in water, 
and prefsing them with the fingers. Then dry 
the seeds upon paper. In the month of April, 
sow these seeds, in drills, in a bed of earth 
well dug, and manured with rotten dung. 
When the plants are about an inch high, draw 
a little earth up to them with a hoe, in order 
to lengthen their main roots, When they are 
about three inches high, dig them up with a 
spade, and separate them carefully from each 
other, in order for planting out in the follow-^ 
ing manner. 

* By A. Hunter, M. D. 


Prepare a piece of fresh ground by trenching 
it well. Dig up the seedling plants as before 
directed, and plant them out in the ground, 
thus prepared, in such a manner, that there 
shall be sixteen inches between each plant. — 
As they advance in growth, let them receive 
one qr two earthings up, in order to lengthen 
the main root, and encourage the shoots under 

By this management the potatoes will, in 
tlie course of one season, arrive at a considerable 
size, and the haulm will be as vigorous as if 
sets had been planted. But what proves the 
luxuriancy, in the most convincing manner, is, 
that flowers and apples are sometimes pro- 

In Lancashire, where the gardeners raise 
potatoes from seed, they are always two years 
in bringing them to full size. By the above 
method of transplanting, with wide distances, 
many of the potatoes will attain their full size 
in one season. 

It is observable, that these seedlings pro- 
duce potatoes of many different kinds ; and 
sometimes new sorts are procured. Wc do 


not find any difference whether the apple 
comes from a round or a kidney kind. It i* 
not so when we use the set, which invariably 
produces the same kind. 

Apples taken from a red potatoe that has 
flowered in the neighbourhood of white ones, 
will sometimes produce a kind internally 
marbled red and white, as I found from an ex- 
periment made in the year 1773 — and I pre- 
sume, for the same reason, that apples taken 
from a white potatoe that has flowered in the 
neighbourhood of red ones, will produce 
something of the same kind. This proves to 
a demonstration, that the male farina is re- 
ceived into the female organ, without which 
there could notpofsibly be an impregnation of 
the seeds lodged in the ovarium. The idea of 
animal generation, as given us by Lewenhoek, 
is similar to this, and is in a great measure^ 
confirmed by it. In both cases, however, there 
remains a difficulty in explaining how those 
mongrel productions are formed, that partake 
of the nature of the male and female parents. 
But this disquisition is foreign to the present 
purpose, and more properly belongs to the 
Efsay on the Sexes of Plants. 

Potatoes, when propagated from sets, after 


a number of years, are found to decrease in 
bearing ; for which reason they should be 
brought back every fourteen years to their 

From a want of attention to this circum 
stance, I have known potatoes so run out, 
that they hardly returned treble seed. The 
farmer complains tlvat his land is tired of then* 
but the true cause is the age of the se*i: 

The increase of potatoes raised frcm seed 
is astonishing. They continue in vigour for 
about fourteen years ; after which, the pro- 
duce gradually declines. 


On the Alternate Hushandri/i 

The alternate husbandry seeming well 
calculated for lands in this part of the world, 
I was induced to make trial of it in a field of 
forty acres Irish f; the soil a good kind t3f 
loam, but so full of large stones as continually 

* By Lewis Irvin, Esq. of Tanrigoe, in the kingdom 
«f Ireland. 

f Ten acres Irish are equal to sixteen English. 

Volume L C c 


to interrupt the plough. Add to this, its 
being sadly mangled with old rotten ditches, 
the foundations of which were mostly com- 
])osed of these large stones. To bring this 
iield into proper culture, the alternate hus- 
bandry was admirably calculated, as it gave 
me an opportunity of rolling off the stones and 
rubbish upon the lea, where they remained 
till I had leisure to remove them. These 
stones I got drawn off, and built into a wall 
five feet high, at the rate of three shillings the 
rod (21 feet); and which I may have capped 
and pointed with lime-morfar for half-a crown 
more. By this method I get a fence that will 
last for ever. Agreeable to this plan I pro- 
pose to divide my whole farm into inclosures 
of ten acres Irish. My grounds being much 
exposed to the sea, I prefer that size on 
account of the shelter. 

It was in the spring of the year 1770 that 
I began my experiment upon the alternatef 
husbandry ; and, from what I have observed, 
in the first year, I am determined to continue 
that system of farming. It diminishes the 
expense of manure, and secures a clean 
fallow ; tvvo objects of the utmost im- 


I have above observed, that my experi- 
mental field was forty acres Irish. The whole 
was disposed in lands about four yeards broad. 
Somewhat lefs than one half of the field was 
sown with 220 stones of oats, which is about 
half the seed usually put into the ground here. 
The corn ripened kindly, and I reapeti 3200 
stones ; a greater crop than, my neighbours had 
from double seed. I could not help being 
greatly satisfied with my succefs, as I was 
much ridiculed by the name of the Striped- 
Lutestring Farmer. The oat-lands are now 
(Jan. 1771) ploughed and split, and will be 
fallowed for wheat in September. The lea- 
lands I shall sow in the spring with oats ; and 
make no doubt of obtaining a crop superior to 
the last year. 

The period of time employed in this ex- 
periment, cannot justify me in making abso- 
lute conclusions. It is, however, sufficient 
to encourage me to prosecute the plan as laid 
down in the seventh efsay of this volume. 





The Dimensions of an Earthen Fence, as made in 
Northumberland* . 

The fence must be five feet in breadth at 
the bottom. One foot to be allowed for to 
plant the quicks on the side next the ditch, 
and one foot on the other side for the breast 
of the dike ; so that the whole breadth will 
contain seven feet. The fence must be made 
four feet two inches high. The ditch four 
feet wide at the top, and one yard in the 
slope, and must be one foot three inches 
broad at the bottom. The top of the fence 
must be one foot three inches in breadth. 
The fence, at the top, must be covered with 
a sod, the green part uppermost. Four 
quicks in everv foot. These must be put in 
horizontally ; so that, when the stem shoots 
upward, it forms a right angle with the old 
stock. And this method is found practically 
better than when the set is put down in a per- 
pendicular direction. By this mode of fencing, 
no posts or rails are required. The price in 
Northumberland is sixpence for each rood of 
seven yards. 

^ B} Thoraai Riddel!, Esq. Felton Park, Northumberland. 



A Method of preparing a rich Co)t)pod'*. 

Take a sufficient quantity of saw-dusf. — 
incorporate with it the blood and ofTal of 
a slaughter-house, putting a layer of one, and 
a layer of the other, till the whole becomes 
a moist and foetid .composition. Two loads 
of this compost, mixed' with three loads o.f 
of earth, will be sufficient for an acre of wheat, 
or spring-corn. Being a kind of top-drefsing, 
it should be put on at the time of sowing, 
and harrowed in with the grain. 

It will be necefsary to remark, that this 
spiecies of manure seems best adapted for lands 
of an open texture. Tough clays require 
lime and plenty of dung to break the cohesion 
of their parts. Farmers should attend to this 

This present year I have a field of wheat 
manured in this manner, and have the 
pleasure to say, that it is extremely clean, and 
has all the appearance of turning out an ex- 
cellent crop. As this kind of compost lies in 

* By A. Hunter, M. D. 

C C S 


a small compafs, it seems well adapted for the 
use of such farmers as are obliged to bring 
their manures from a distance. It is besides 
extremely rich, and will probably continue in 
the land much longer than fold-yard or stable-: 
dung. I apprehend that it is capable of re- 
storing worn-out land to its original freshnefsj 
and I am induced to be of that opinion from' 
the appearance of the above wheat crop, 
which is now growing upon land much im- 
poverished by bad management. 

All animal substances being of the same 
nature, it is probable that the refuse whale-fat, 
after the oil is boiled out, will make a com- 
post of equal goodnefs with the above. I have 
at present a dunghill made of that offal and 
horse-dung, hot from the stable. I prefer 
the fresh dung on account of its reducing the 
blubber more speedily into a putrid state. — 
The preparers of train-oil constant-Jy throw this 
offal into the sea,; but I apprehend that saving 
it for the purposes of vegetation will be of 
national advantage. Being an animal sub- 
stance, there is no doubt of its containing all 
the principles of other animal bodies j con- 
sequently it must be an object worthy of the 
attention of such gentlemen as live in a neigh- 


bourhood where train-oil is prepared*. We 
cannot recommend in too forcible a manner, 
a proper attention to every substance that is 
capable of being brought into a state of putre- 
faction. Notwithstanding what the ingenious 
Mr. TuU and others have wrote, it is certain 
that manures, properly managed, are the life 
and soul of husbandry. Few things, however, 
in the extensive field of rural economy, are so 
imperfectly understood. Until the doctrine 
of manures is clearly and distinctly, laid down, 
agriculture will remain a vague and uncertain 


A comparative View of the three different Methods of 
sowing Barley \. 

It is undecided amongst farmers which is 
the best method of sowing grain. To deter- 
mine the debate, as far as one experiment can 
be said to determine any thing, I made the 
following trial. * 

In a field of twenty acres, which the year 
before had borne a crop of turnips, I selected 

* Proposed about thirty years ago. It is now (1801) 
universally attended to. 

tBy the Rev. Sir W. Anderson, Bart, of Kilwick. 



three contiguous lands, each of which mea- 
sured five roods. The soil, a loamy clay of 
five inches upon a hard bed of chalky lime- 
stone. I sowed N° 1 with the four-socked 
drill-plough, in rows eight inches asunder. — 
N° 2, under furrow. N** 3, above furrow. 
The drilled land was finished in two hours, 
and took three bushels and a half of seed. 
The other lands were finished in the usual 
time, and had each the same quantity of seed 
as the drilled part. The saving in seed is not 
an object of so much importance in the drill 
husbandr}'- as is commonly imagined. On the 
contrary, I am of opinion that the failure of 
drilled crops often proceeds from too great an 
attention to this economical part of the 

For about a fortnight after sow^ing, the sea- 
son was rather dry. N° 1 appeared first. 
N° 2, next. N° 3, last, during the time 
of growing, the lands had the appearance of 
being equally good, and, as the season was 
a favourable one for barley, the ears ripened 

On the 4th of October the corn upon the 
three expericiental lands was cut. 


N«> 1. 60 stocks. 

2. • 67 stocks. 

3. 65 stooks. 

Not having the opportunity of thrashing out 
the whole crops at this season of the year, 
I ordered one stook of each land to be housed, 
and carefully thrashed. 

N«' 1. 3 pecks. 

2. — St pecks. 

3. 3i pecks. 

To be satisfied of the relative goodnefs of 
each, I weighed the products. 


N'' 1. 2 St. 12 lb. 

2. 3 St. 3i-lb. 

5. 2 St. 9i lb. 

From this experiment we are led to make 
the following reflections. 

1 . That sowing barley under furrow, gives 
the greatest produce. 

410 GjLt^GlCAl ](SSAYS 

2. That sowing above furrow is next, 

5. That drill-sowing in equi-distant rows of 
eight inches, is inferior, in quantity, to both. 

4. That the drilled barley is considerably 
the heaviest. 

5. That the under-furrow is next. 

6. That the above furrow is lightest. 

I ought here to observe, that N" 2 had two 
ploughings, but that N** 1 and N° 3 were 
sown upon a single ploughing. It will also 
be proper to remark that, for want pf ex- 
perience in the person who conducted the 
drill-plough, the bouts were not so regular as 
they ought to have been, which occasioned, 
in many places, a considerable lofs of land. — 
From these circumstances I am induced to 
think the experiment not so perfectly de- 
cisive as I could wish. In a short time 
I hope to be able to measure and weigh 
the whole produce, by which means the 
above comparative trial will be rendered more 



On the Oil-Compost*. 

On the 1st of October 1771, I sowed two 
acres of a light channelly soil with wheat, and 
harrowed in the conipost with the grain. Being 
at a considerable distance from a large town, 
we find it very difficult and expensive to pro- 
cure rotten dung in sufficient quantity for our 
tillage lands, for which reason we have recourse 
to hand-drefsings both for our winter and 
spring corn. Rape-dust and soot are princi- 
cipally used, but the present price of both 
these articles is a heavy tax upon the farmer. 
To obviate that inconvenience, I resolved to 
make trial of the oil-compost j and from what 
I have observed in this one experiment, I am 
encouraged to make a more extensive use of 
it next year. Being well acquainted with the 
nature and efficacy of soot, I am satisfied that 
the above two acres produced as good a crop 
of wheat as if they had been drefsed with that 
excellent manure. 

^ By Mr. J. Broadbent, of Barwick in EIraet, near Leedi. 



On the Juice of Carrots j S(c*. 

For many years carrots were appropriated to 
culinary uses only. They are now found to be 
an excellent food for horses and hogs f . 1 
have often thought that their exprefsed juice 
might be converted by a cheap procefs into 
ale, spirit, and vinegar. Some experiments 
that I made in the year 1772 J, though they 
did not perfectly succeed, confirm me in that 

I beg leave to recommend to the philoso- 
phical farmer an examination of the carrot 
juice. It is a subject worthy of his attention, 

* By A. Hunter, M. D. 

f Fidn the ingenious Mr. Young's Effay on the ma- 
nagement of hogs. 

i The vinous fermentation went on agreeably for about 
six hours, after which it suddenly ceased. This experiment 
was several times repeated, and with the same appear- 
ances. Probably a portion of brown sugar, or molafles, 
may be of use in keeping up the fermentation ; though, 
from the sweet taste of the juice, one would not suspect 
an addition of that kind necefsary. The pulp of the 
carrot, when mixed with bean meal, makes an excellent 
food for hogs, and is preferable to grains for milk cows, 


One acre of good carrots (eighteen tons) will 
produce forty hogsheads of a saccharine juice. 
Dr. Marggraf was not able to obtain crystalli- 
zed sugar from carrots, though he got it from 
skirrets and beets. An examination of these 
juices, with a view to obtain wine, spirit, and 
vinegar, may be worthy of notice. The pro- 
cefs for sugar is too expensive for practical 

As an Inducement to others, I shall here 
subjoin Dr. Marggraf's experiments. 

" The plants," says this ingenious inquirer, 
" which I chymically examined in order to ex- 
tract sugar from their roots, and which yielded 
a considerable quantity, are very common in 
most countries, and require neither a fine soil 
nor afsiduous culture ^ such, for instance, are, 

1. White Beets. 

2. Skirrets. 

3. Red Beets. 

" The roots of these three plants yielded 
a large quantity of pure sugar. You may 
know the roots of the plants which contain 
sugar by these characteristics : When you have 


cut the roots in pieces, and wiped them very 
clean, they have a very agreeable taste ; and if 
you examine the pieces by a microscope, you 
will perceive whitish crystalline particles, 
which are a true sugar. 

*^ As sugar is a salt which difsolves even in 
brandy, I imagined that the sugar might be 
separated from the parts of plants by means of 
the best and strongest brandy I could get. 
Previously to determine the quantity of sugar 
difsolvable this way, I put into a glafs an 
ounce of the finest and best sugar, well pul- 
verized, together with four ounces of the 
strongest brandy ; the whole being well 
digested, I boiled them together, and the 
sugar was soon perfectly difsolved. Whilst 
this solution was yet warm, I strained it 
through a linen cloth into another glafs ; 
I corked it close, and after it had stood eight 
days, I had the pleasure of seeing the sugar 
form itself anew into very fine crystals • To 
succeed in this experiment, the sugar and glafs 
must be quite dry, and the brandy well 

" Having prepared the way by this experi- 
ment, I took the roots of white beets, and. 

OE0R6TCAL fiSSAY»« ll$ 

"having cut them into small slices, I laid them 
by the fire to dry, taking care not to burn 
them ; I then reduced them to a coarse 
pov/der, and laid it to dry a second time, be- 
cause it is very apt to contract moisture : 
whilst this course powder was yet warm, 
I put eight ounces of it into a glafs vefsel, and 
poured upon it sixteen ounces of brandy, so 
strong that it fired gunpowder. The vefsel 
was above half full, and having corked it 
close, I set it in a sand-heat till the brandy 
began to boil ; stirring it from time to time, 
that the powder might not settle to the 

** As soon as the brandy began to boil, 
I took the vefsel off the fire, and poured the 
mixture as quickly as pofsible into a linen 
bag, and prefsed it well to squeeze out all 
the liquor j I then pafsed this liquor through 
a linen cloth whilst it was yet warm, and put 
it into a glafs vefsel well corked, and set 
it in a warm place. The liquor was at first 
turbid, but after some weeks a crystalline 
sediment appeared, which had all the cha- 
racters of an impure sugar, and was full of 
very hard crystals. To purify them yet more, 
I difsolved them a second time in brandy, and 


proceeded in the same manner as I had done' 
with the real sugar. 

" By this method, which was the first that 
I fell upon, I obtained from the three roots 
above-mentioned the following quantities of 

" 1 . From half a pound of white beets, half 
an ounce of pure sugar. 

" 2. From half a pound of skirrets, an 
ounce and an half of pure sugar. 

" 3. From half a pound of red beets, one 
ounce of pure sugar. 

" It is evident, from these experiments, 
that lime-water is not at all necefsary to dry 
and thicken the sugar, as some pretend, since 
the sugar crystallizes without it. 

" Being thus afsured that there was real 
sugar in plants, I endeavoured to find out 
a lefs expensive manner of extracting it ; and 
the best way seemed to me, first to prefs out 
the juice of the plants, then to purify this 
juice, and to prepare it for crystallizing by 


evaporation ; and lastly to purify the crystals 
that proceeded from it. 

" I took a certain quantity of skirrcts ; 
I cut the roots, whilst fresh, into small pieces, 
and pounded thorn as small as pof^ible in a;i 
iron mortar ; I then put them into a linen 
bag, and prefsed out the juice in a prefs pre- 
pared for the purpose : after this I poured 
water upon the roots remaining in tiie bag, 
and prefsed them a second time. I then put 
the liquor all together into a very clean vefsel, 
and let it stand to settle in a cool place for 
forty-eight hours ^ in which time it became 
clear, and a mealy substance settled to the 
bottom ; I then poured off the liquor gently, 
and pafsed it through a linen cloth into 
another vefsel. 

" The first clarification being thus made, 
I put some whites of eggs to the juice, and 
boiled it in a brafs pan, scumming it con- 
tinually till no further impurities appeared on 
the surface ; I then pafsed it through a linen 
cloth, and the liquor was as transparent as the 
clearest wine. I boiled it again in a lefs pan 
till it was considerably decreased, and so 
again and again, in yet lefs vefscls, till there 

Volume L D d 


remained only a pretty thick syrup, which 
I put into a very clean glafs vefsel, and set it in 
a warm place. I let it stand above six 
months, and then found the sugar sticking to 
the sides of the glafs in the form of little 

*' To purify these crystals, I put the vefsel 
into warm water, and when the heat had 
penetrated the glafs, so as to render the mix- 
ture fluid, I poured both the liquor and 
cr}'stals into an earthen vefsel, broad at top 
and narrow at bottom, and the bottom per- 
forated with several holes ; this vefsel I put 
into another, and covered both up, and set 
them in a temperate place : by these means 
the syrup gradually dropt into the lower 
vefsel, and the crystals were left in the upper 
one. This crude sugar I then put into blot- 
ting paper, folded different ways, and prefsed 
it lightly in a prefs; this dried it, and rendered 
it more pure, the paper imbibing a good deal' 
of the tenacious viscid syrup, which yet stuck 
to the sugar. 

*' The sugar, thus cleaned of the greatest 
part of its impurities, I difsolved again in 
'N^ater,pafied it tli rough a clean linen cloth, and 


boiled it to the consistence of a thick syrup, 
then put a little lime-water to it, and boiled it 
gently till it became ropy; I then took it off the 
fire, and stirred it about till it cooled and thick- 
ened a little ; after which I poured it into a 
well-burnt earthen vefsel in the form of a cone, 
closed at the small end with a wooden stop- 
per, which vefsel I put into others that were 
deeper, and set them in a temperate place. 
In a few days the sugar became tolerably 
hard and full of crystals ; and when it had stood 
eight days, I took out the stopper, and set the 
vefsels in a warm place that the syrup might 
run off: this syrup is fit for the same uses as 
common treacle ; and the sugar, after drying 
and purifying by means of the blotting paper 
as before, is equal to the best brown sugar of 
St. Thomas, commonly called Moscovad. By 
a similar procefs, sugar may be extracted from 
red and white beets. The sugar of skirrets is 
of a better quality than that of red beets, but 
the sugar of white beets is best of all. 

" I endeavoured to extract sugar from the 
stems and leaves of these plants, but could 
obtain from them oniv a sort of tartar: it is 
very remarkable that the roots of these plants 



should contain sugar, and that the stems and 
leaves should be entirely destitute of it. 

" These experiments may be useful to 
farmers and other people of this country in 
low circumstances. Instead of buying sugar, 
which is very dear, they may obtain it from 
the plants at their own doors ; they need not 
go through all the steps of the foregoing pro- 
cefs ; for them it may suffice to exprefs the 
juice, to strain and purify it a little, and then 
to boil it down to the consistence of a syrup, 
and so use it ; it will certainly be more pure 
than the grofs treacle of the shops. Besides, 
from these experiments we learn, that those 
countries which produce the sugar-cane, are 
not the only ones which nature hath furnished 
with sugar. 

" I made trials upon several other vege- 
tables besides those I have mentioned ^ 
I could obtain no sugar from carrots ; the 
juice they yielded was extremely sweet, but 
resembled honey rather than sugar ; parsnips 
yielded a little sugar j two species of dogs- 
grafs yielded a very sweet juice, but not 
sugar; the juice of the Birch-tree yielded 
a sort of manna." 


From these experiments it is abundantly 
evident, that many common roots of this 
country contain a Jarge share of saccharine 
juice. They consequently are capable of 
being converted into wine, spirit, and vinegar. 
To determine this point, (in 177S) I took 
24 bushels of carrots in the month of October. 
After being washed, topped, and tailed, I. put 
them into a large brewing copper with four 
gallons of water, and covering them up with 
cloths, to hasten the maceration, I ordered a 
fire to be kindled underneath, which in a short 
time reduced the whole into a tender pulp. 
They were then put into a common screw- 
prefs, and the juice taken from them, which, 
together with the liquor left in the copper, 
was run through a flannel bag. The juice 
was then returned into the copper, and, as it 
was my design to make it into ale, I put to it 
a proportionable quantity of hops. The 
liquor was then boiled about an hour, when 
it acquired both the taste and colour of wort. 
It was next put into a cooler, and afterwards 
into the working vefsel, where the yeast was 
added to it. It worked kindly, and in all re- 
spects was treated as ale. I allowed it to 
remain in the cask about four months, when 
I broached it, but found it of a thick and 

Dd 3 


iDuddy appearance. I attempted to fine it, 
but in vain. The taste was by no means dis- 
pleasing, as it much resembled malt liquor. 
My first intention being frustrated, I threw it 
into the still, being about forty gallons in 
measure, and by two distillations obtained 
four gallons of a clean proof-spirit. It had, 
however, contracted a flavour from the hop, 
which should be left out when the intention 
is to reduce the liquor into spirit. From 
a grofs calculation, I an^, induced to think 
that a good acre of carrots, manufactured in 
this manner, will leave a profit of forty pounds 
after deducting the landlord's rent, cultivation, 
distillation, and other incidental expenses. 
In this calculation, I presume that the spirit 
is worth six shillings per gallon, and not ex- 
cised. An acre of barley will by no means 
produce so much spirit. A rich sandy loam 
is the best land for c?rrots, which, after the 
crop is removed, will be in high cultivation 
for corn. The succefs of my trial, will, 
I flatter myself, be the means of inducing 
others to repeat the experiment, with a view 
to determine how far the growth of car- 
rots for the use of the distiller may be con- 
sidered in the light of a national advantage. 



On a Method of raising Potatoes in JVintcf*. 

Make a compost of earth, sand, and coal- 
ashes. With this mixture fill a tub about 
sixteen inches deep. Plant this artificial soil 
with some sets of the early round potatoc, 
and place the tub in a stable opposite to 
a window, taking care to water the earth now 
and then. In all seasons the sets will sprout, 
and give a tolerable increase of potatoes. Last 
November I planted some sets in the above 
manners and, in the February following, 
I took up a considerable number of young 
potatoes, clean skinned and well flavoured. 


On sowing Turnips for late feeding \. 

The advantages of having Turnips good till 
the spring-feed is ready, are so obvious and so 
great, that it is matter of wonder that so 
few farmers do follow the custom in Norfolk, 

* By Mr. Seth Agar, York. 
•J- By a Suffolk Farmer. 

Dd 4 


which is to continue sowing turnips to the 
latter end of August, by which means their 
]atc crops remain good m the field till the 
latter end of April, <ind often till the middle 
of May. The farmer will gain the same ad- 
vantage . by cultivating the Ruta Baga, or 
Swedish Turnip, which is daily coming into 
use by such farmers as have spirit to leave the 
beaten track of their forefathers. 


On feeding Sheep^ and a substitute for folding^ . 

An eminent farmer in Bedfordshire has 
found that nothing is so beneficial in feeding 
sheep on turnips, by way of addition, as pease. 
A small quantity, as two or three bushels 
a day, to on- hundred and fifty wethers, has 
a considerable efi^ect, and the benefit to the 
land may be seen to an inch in the succeeding 
crop of barley. As to folding, farmers begin 
to be divided in their opinions. An excellent 
farmer in Norfolk, who rents a farm of 
1800 acres, never folds, and is well persuaded 
that it is not at all necefsary. Another farmer 
of eminence, in the same county, who never 

* By A. Hunter, M. D. 


folds, informs me that his lays when he 
breaks them up for corn, pay him amply for 
leaving the sheep at night where they feed by 
day. The practice begins to decline in the 
neighbourhood of Molkham, but there cer- 
tainly are some tillage-farms that cannot be 
advantageously managed without folding. 

The trouble and expense of keeping a flock 
of sheep for the purpose of folding, may pro- 
bably be avoided by forming large ponds, so 
constructed as to receiv^e and hold vvater. Into 
these ponds, let drains from the stables, cow- 
houses, ox-stalls, piggeries, and wash-house, be 
directed ;. and in order to enrich the water, 
let all kinds of vegetable and animal sub- 
stances be thrown in, particularly the contents 
of the necefsaries and slaughter-house. It is 
presumed that this putrid water, when put 
upon the land by means of water-carts, will 
prove as beneficial as a flock of sheep kept 
for the exprefs purpose of folding. A pond 
of sixty feet diameter, by six feet deep, will 
contain upwards of 700 hogsheads of water. 
It is presumed that a pond of this nature and 
size, when properly supplied with water and 
putrescent bodies, may be equal to a fold of 



A comparafive Fiew of two crops of Barley, the one 
drilled, and the other sown broadcast *, 

Tlie experiment was made to ascertain the 
the produce of drilled barley, compared with 
broadcast. The seed was sown on the same 
field, and at the same time, and tliere was no 
apparent difference in the soil. The drills 
were eighteen inches wide, and the grain was 
dropped by hand ; the expense of which was 
three shillings and threepence per acre. 

The seed drilled, was one bushel and three 
gallons per acre. The produce, fifty-six 
bushels and three gallons. 

On the broadcast part, the seed sown was 
three bushels and five gallons per acre. The 
produce thirty-six bushels and five gallons. 

Extra produce of the drilled crop, about 
twenty bushels per acre -, besides near two 
bushels of seed sown. 

* By Sir John Anstruther, Bart. 



On Malt-Dust as a Manure'*. 

Ill April, 1784, I manured a piece of land 
with malt-combs, or the dust which falls 
through the wires, at the rate of four quarters 
per acre, and sowed it with barley and clover. 
The barley was very luxuriant, and produced 
near seven quarters per acre. The crop of 
clover was one of the finest I ever saw j and 
I have no doubt, but the effects of this 
manure will be evident in the wheat next 
year. From the succefs attending the use of 
this manure, the expense of which was only 
twelve shillings per acre, it appears to be much 
cheaper than rape-dust, or any other top- 


On the number of grains contained in a bushel of wheat, 
and other seeds f. 

As the drill-husbandry is gaining ground in 
many parts of thib island, it seems to be 
a matter of utility, as well as curiosity, to be 

* By Mr. J. Bedford. 
I By A, Hunter, M. D. 


informed of the number of grains contained 
in every bushel of corn sown. When wheat 
is drilled, or dibbled in, we suppose that every 
grain is covered, and consequently vegetates ; 
but when sown broadcast, not much more 
than one half of it is safely covered by the 
harrows. The following calculations were 
made by a respectable Alember of the Bath 
Agriculture Society, and which, if not of mate- 
rial use, wull, at least, amuse the theoretical 

An acre of land drilled at a foot distance, 
on ridges of eight feet three inches wide, con- 
tains in length 505,808 inches. 

A bushel of wheat, weighing 62 pounds, 
contains 616,000 grains. Dropping one grain 
to an inch requires lefs than a bushel to an 

A bushel of barley, weighing 52 pounds, 
contains 515,000 grains. 

A bushel of pig-pease, weighing 64_pounds, 
contains 107,000 pease. 

A bushel of horse-beans, weighing 64 
pounds, contains 35,000 beans. 


As all kinds of grain vary in size, the num- 
ber contained in a bushel will be increased or 
diminished ; but the above are the average 
numbers, and there is reason to think that the 
emuneration is tolerably exact. 


A Method of making excelleyit Butter from the Milk 
• of Cows fed upon Turnips *. 

Let the bowls, either lead or wood, be kept 
constantly clean, and well fcalded with boiling 
water before ufing. When the milk is brought 
into the dairy, to every eight quarts mix one 
quart of boiling water j then put up the milk 
into the bowls to stand for cream. By keep- 
ing strictly to this method, I have constantly, 
during the winter, sweet and well-tasted butter 
from the milk of cows fed upon turnips. My 
cows are kept in the house at nights to hay, 
and are turned out in the day-time to turnips 
without waste. 

By C. Crowe, Efq. of Kipling. 



A new and profitable Method of raising a Crop of 
Turnips in Drill*. 

At this time, every one knows the conse- 
quence of turnips to the farmer in supporting 
his lean stock, and keeping up his fat in the 
winter season at an easy expense. 

Though the growth of turnips is now be- 
come universal in the north of England, yet it 
does not appear that there is any general regu- 
larity observed in their cultivation. Particular 
soils hath hitherto determined the preference of 
turnip crops. This not falling to the lot of 
every one, induces me to publish such obser- 
vations as I have from time to time made in a 
long series of years. 

The first preparation for a turnip crop is to 
plough the land before the frosts set in. The 
benefit of this ploughing, critically observed, 
not only meliorates the soil, but also turns out, 
and exposes the eggs of that pernicious insect, 
the fly, to the severity of the winter. " The 
next ploughing should be performed, crofs- 

* By Mr. Benson, of Stainlev, 1777. 


ways, about Candlemas, or before the frosts 
are quite over, that a farther advantage may 
be taken over the remaining ova of the fly. 
The ridges must then be harrowed length- 
ways. After this, the discretional use of the 
plough, roller, and harrows is all that is ne- 
cefsary to make a good preparation for so^wing. 

The last week in May, if the weather be 
moist and gloomy, if not, make use of morn- 
ings and evenings, begin by fetting the ridges 
at one about, and close them by a crooked har- 
row, which will lay them in the form of an 
arch. This being done, a furrow must be 
drawn down the middle of every ridge with a 
double mould-board plough, to receive the 
dung, which must be laid in heaps (about four 
to the load) down every tenth furrow. Six 
loads (twenty-four bushels to the load) will be 
sufficient for an acre. The dung must then 
be carried in scuttles from the heaps, and scat- 
tered, edge-ways, into the open furrows. Upon 
the manure thus disposed, the seed must be 
drilled by a hand-drill ; after which the earth 
must be returned by a common harrow, pas- 
sed crofs-ways over the lands. 

About the fifth day, if the ground be moist. 


the young plants will make their appearance. 
As soon as they have got into rough leaf, they 
must be thinned by women and boys, with a 
small two-inch hoe. With this hoe, and the 
fingers, the plants should be left about two 
inches distant, which will be sufficient for the 
first hoeing. The second hoeing should be 
performed with a 6-inch hoe, before the leaves 
interfere, leaving the plants at about eight 
inches, which will r»ri"pare them for the third 
and last hoeing. This must also be done 
before the leaves interfere, allowing them 
sufficient room, acrr^rding to the vigour 
of the plants, and the r'chnefs of the soil. In 
this last hoeing, particular care must be taken 
to cut up all the weeds, and to stir the ground 
near the ridges, where the plough cannot come. 

Tlie hoe-ploughings necefsary for complet- 
ing the crop are three, and may be performed 
by a narrow plough of about seven inches, 
made in the common way. 

The first is done by going round each ridge, 
and turning a furrow from the plants into the 
interval. AVhen a number of these are finished, 
the field will appear in double ridges 3 one half 
of which will be stocked with plants, and the 


Other naked. About a fortnight after this ope- 
ration, the naked ridges must be split with the 
double mould-board plough, and the earth 
thrown to the plants. After this, it will be 
proper to send in a few women to pluck up 
such weeds as have escaped the former opera- 
tions, with a view to prevent their perfecting 
their seed ; otherwise the tillage intended for 
the benefit of the crop would produce the same 
effect upon the growth of the weeds, and in- 
crease them in an amazing degree. The la- 
bour of this is smallj but the consequence is 


First ploughmg — 

— J. 



Second ditto — 



Harrowing — 


Third ploughing — 


Fourth ditto — 



Harrowing — 


Ploughing the ridges at 

one bout 



Ploughing the furrows i 




Six loads of dung and lead 




Two women to spread 

the dung 


A boy for drilling 




Carried forward — 




Volume I, 




Brought over — — jO '2 4 S 

Seed 6 

Harrowing' — 6 

Severalhand-boeings aiidweedings S 6 

Three several horse-hoeings Q 3 

Rent O 12 

It will not be improper to enumerate the 
advantages of this method of culture. The 
seed being placed upon the moist dung, will 
vegetate early in all circumstances of the wea- 
ther ; and the manure being well covered, will 
be secured from evaporation in the hottest sea- 
sons. The turnips being placed immediately 
over the manure, have a ready pafsage, by 
means of their tap-root,- into a rich bed of nu- 
triment, which will accelerate their growth, 
and increase their size. As the crop grows 
upon ridges, with a trench on each side, it is 
obvious that the turnips will remain dry in the 
wettest seasons ; a circumstance of the utmost 
utility. To these advantages we may add the 
doubling of the soil, which I consider as an 
important article in all situations where the 
staple of the land happens to be thin. 



On the Quantitjj of Ashes to be obtained bj/ Burn- 


In August 1772 I pared and burnt one acre 
three roods of limestone land, and carefully 
collected the ashes into two heaps for a future 
experiment. Having so good an opportunity, 
I measured the ashes, and was much surprised 
at the quantity, being eighty cart loads, thirty 
bushels to the load. 

r shall not here enter into the merits of burn- 
baking ; but, from the above experiment, it 
is obvious that a complete drefsing may be ob- 
tained, in any country, upon very reasonable 


On Spring Wheat f. 

On the 6th of April, 1772, I sowed three 
roods of a turnip fallow with spring wheat, 
the soil about six inches deep, upon a lime- 
stone rock, and valued at ten shillings per acre. 

* By A. St. Leger, Esq. 
t By A. St. Leger, Esq. 

Ee 2 


I had the pleasure of seeing the crop cut down 
about a week sooner than the wheat sown in 
October, upon the same kind of land. Upon 
these three roods I had forty-two stooks, ten 
sheaves to the stook. AVhen threshed, I had 
twenty-one bushels of clean corn ; and should 
have had considerably more, had not the lands 
been much mfested with sparrows. I shall not 
determine much upon this small experiment, as 
I propose to enlarge my trials very consider- 
ably next year. It will, however, be proper 
to observe, that my tenants were desirous of 
having part of the seed, but I chose to reserve 
it all for myself, well knowing that the com- 
mon farmer should have nothing put into his 
hands but what has stood the test of accurate. 
and judicious experiment. 


On sowing Cnrrot-Seed'^. 

Carrot-seed must be sown early ; and as it 
remains a long time in the ground, the weeds 
frequently spoil the crop. The following me- 
thod has been found effectually to prevent the 
above inconvenience. 

* By A. Hunter, M. D. 


Take any quantity of carrot-seed, and mix 
it with about five times the quantity of earth. 
Moisten the whole with water, and every se- 
cond day turn the whole over. As soon as the 
seeds begin to swell and sprout, they may be 
sown along with the earth. 

In this method, the carrot-seeds will vege- 
tate before the w^eeds ; and the farmer will be 
secure of a good crop, which may be easily 
and cheaply hoed. 


The Method of making Whale-Compost *. 

I have a particularpleasure in describing and 
making public the best method of forming a 
compost from whales flesh, as recommended to 
me by Dr. Hunter. Having marked out the 
length and breadth of your intended dunghill, 
make the first layer of earth about a foot in 
thicknefs. Moor-earth, or such as is taken 
from ant-hillsj is the best for this purpose. 
Over the earth lay one layer of long litter from 
the fold-yard, or stable, about twelve inches in 
thicknefs, then a layer of whale-flesh, and over 

*By Mr. Charles Chaloner, 1772. 

Ee 3 


that another layer of dung. Repeat the opera- 
tions till the heap be raised about six feet, thert 
give it a thick covering of earth, and coat the 
heap with sods. In this manner, each layer of 
flesh willbe placed betv/eentwo layers of dung. 
In about a month, turn the whole in the usual 
manner, which will occasion a strong degree of 
heat and fermentation. When turned, coat 
with earth as before, with a view to confine the 
putrid steam which would otherwise escape. In 
a month or two the heap will be found consi- 
derably fallen, when it should have a second 
turning as before. The operation of turning 
must be repeated at proper intervals, till the 
whole becomes an uniform putrid mafs. The 
whale-flesh is of difl^erent degrees of firmnefs, 
some of it being almost liquid ; and, in pro- 
portion to its firmnefs, the heap wnll become 
sooner or later fit for use. In general the com- 
post should not be used until tv^^elve months 
old ; but that depends upon circumstances. 
Guard the heap from dogs, pigs, badgers, and 
vermin, as these animals are remarkably fond 
of whale-flesh. 

This animal compost may, with great ad- 
vantage, be -applied to all purposes where good 
rotten dung is required. I have used it with 


great succefs for cabbages, and find it an ex- 
cellent drefsing for meadow ground. Accord- 
ing to the best computation, one hogshead of 
whale-refuse will make eight loads of dung, 
which, when we consider the great facility with 
which this basis of our dunghill may be .carried, 
is a momentous concern to such farmers as lie 
remote from a Lirge town. 

When we take a view of the vast quan- 
tities of whale-refuse that used fbrmerJy;to,b.e 
thrown into the sea, to prevent the bad effects 
of its putrid steams, and now survey it as- 
converted into the best of dunghills for enrich- 
ing our fields and pastures, we are insensibly 
led to return thanks to the editor of these 
efsays, who has proved to a demonstration, 
that husbandry must be regulated and 
directed by the powers of reason and re- 


On the Oil- Compost*. 
In the spring of the year 1772, a piece of 
ground was prepared in my garden for onions; 
and after the seed was sown and raked in, 

* By Richard Townle^-, Esq. of Belfielcl. 

Ee 4 


I liad the usual quantity of oil-compost scat- 
tered over it. Tlie ground measured forty- 
eight square yards, including four small paths 
for the convenience of weeding the crop. 
Great quantities were pulled up, during the 
growth of the crop, for the use of the family; 
great quantities were given to my labourers 
and poor neighbours, and even some thrown 
into mv hog-yard, in order to thin the crop 
properly as it proceeded towards maturity. — 
On the l&th of September the crop was 
judged to be sufficiently grown, and ripe 
enough for keeping during the winter. The 
onions were then taken up j and after laving 
a few days to harden and dry in the sun, they 
were brought in and weighed, when the pro- 
duce was found to be 304 lb. of a very large 
size. This produce is 64- lb. to a square yard, 
or S0653 lb. to a statute acre, which at one 
penny per pond, the lowest price in our 
neighbourhood, amounts to 1271. 1 4s. od. — 
I must attribute this extraordinary produce to 
the oil-compc st alone, as the ground upon 
which the onions were sown had been ex- 
haustea by a constant succefsion of different 
crops for forty years past, and was besides but 
of a middling quality. 



A comparative View of Baron Van Haak^s Compost, 
the Oil-Compost, and Soot mixed with Ashes*. 

In the beginning of April, 1773, an acre of 
land was sown with forward oats. I pitched 
upon one land in the middle of the piece 
which I esteemed better than any of the rest, 
and upon this I scattered Baron Van Haake's 
compost, in the quantity directed in his in- 
structions. On one side I manured a land 
with the oil-compost, but rather with a lefs 
quantity than directed ^ and on the other side 
I manured two lands with dry coal-ashes, 
sifted tine, and an equal quantity of soot. The 
lands upon which this experiment was made, 
were much worn out with a long succefsion 
of crops. 

The lands which had the benefit of the 
ashes and soot produced an exceeding fine 
crop J the oil-compost produced a tolerable 
good one ; but that land which had only the 
afsistance of the Baron's compost, produced 
a very poor one. It could not have been 

By Richard Townley, Esq. of Belficld. 


worse, had it been left destitute of every 
afsistance. From this, and from some other 
experiments made by a worthy neighbour of 
mine,^who was so kind as to furnish me with 
the Baron's compost, I have great reason to 
discredit the pompous accounts given of its 
extraordinary powers and quah'ties by its in- 
ventor, which appeared to savour so much of 
empiricism, that I should hardly have made 
the above trial, had not my ingenious neigh- 
|>pur int^eated me to make the experiment. 
I should be glad to hear that the Baron's com- 
post has succeeded better with others who 
have given it a fair tri^l i for was it pofsefsed 
of half the boasted virtues afcribed to it, it 
would prove a most valuable acquisition to the 
farmer and the public. 

The same year in which these experiments 
were made, Ltried the oil-compost upon some 
parts of my wheat crops, which discovered 
great weaknefs and poverty at the time of 
tillering, and with considerable succefs. 


On Egyptian Wheat*. 
In September, 1772, I received from a 
friend twelve grains of Egyptian wheat, which 

* B_y Richard Townley, Esq. of Belfield. 


I have reason to believe was the Triticinjt 
ramosiim et centumgranium of Pliny, of the 
produce of which he gives such extraordinary 
accounts. After giving an account in what 
parts of Africa this remarkable species of 
wheat is produced, he says, " Et imprimis 
/Egypto." Six of these grains I gave to 
a neighbouring gentleman, the other six I put 
down in my own garden, at the depth of two 
inches within the soil, and nine inches dis- 
tance from each other. The ground was 
kept hoed and clean from weeds, which was 
the only afsistance that was given to the 
plants. When the ears became heavy, I 
ordered the stems to be tied up to stakes, to 
prevent their breaking down with wind or 
rain. These six grains produced one hundred 
and two stems, with large branching ears, and 
the ears contained, upon an average, one hun- 
dred and twenty grains, or better j so that 
the produce of the six grains, at the medium 
of one hundred and twenty grains to each 
ear, makes 12,240, or 204-0 from each grain. 
Most of the grains were plump and large, 
and the flour within was of a s:ood colour. 
I cannot help exprefsing my fears, that this 
species of wheat, produced in the fertile soil 
and serene climate of Egypt, will be apt to 


degenerate in this island ; though we have 
often found, by experience, that different 
kinds of grain, as well as plants, natives of 
countries far more favourable to vegetation 
than our own, have flourished very well 
amongst us ; and to appearance have, in 
a series of years, afsimilated their natures to 
our soil and atmosphere. I propose to sow 
this kind of wheat at different seasons of the 
year ; and if it can be kept up to its present 
standard, with early sowing, it will prove a 
great acquisition to agriculture. According 
to my trials, it stands our frosts as well as our 
common wheats ; and being a strong-bearded 
grain, it is well defended against the ravages 
of the birds, which, near villages and inclose^ 
countries, is no inconsiderable advantage, 


On the Culture of Cabbages*, 

In a field from which I gathered last year a 
prodigious crop of turnips, amounting to one 
hundred tons per acre, (Cheshire measure) I this 
year have raised cabbages. The land was 
ploughed into ridges of three and a half, or 

-N . - 


* By T. B. Bailej, Esq. F. R. S. 


four feet, and each ridge prepared with ma- 
nure as for potatoes, i. e. the dung or litter 
was only laid under the middle of the ridge. 
The plants, raised from seeds sown in August, 
1772, and transplanted on beds in October 
following, were set out in this field at the dis- 
tance of about two feet and a half, or three 
feet, in March and April ; were once hand- 
hoed and twice horse-hoed through the sum- 
mer, but were greatly retarded in their growth 
by the excefsive heats and dry weather in June 
and July. The number of plants set out on 
a Cheshire acre was near eleven thousand. — 
As a greatquantityof my autumn plants were 
killed in the winter, I sowed more seed in 
February ; but this year's experience, added 
to that of the preceding ones, has convinced 
me, that it is absolutely in vain to expect a. 
weighty crop of cabbages from spring plants. 
Tlie sorts I sowed were the North American 
and Scotch ; but I find that the Scotch is, on 
all accounts, preferable, and far more durable. 

In the month of November, I took up and 
weighed a square rod, or sixty-four yards, con- 
taining sixty-eight cabbages, of which fifteen 
or twenty were small, being spring plants. The 
weight was 1211 lb. — on an averag,^ 17 lb. or 


eighty-six tons ten hundred. — Taking out fif- 
teen spring plants, at 2 lb. each, out of the 
above number sixty-eight, the average will be 
22 lb. or 103 tons to the Cheshire acre, and 
this, I take, will not much exceed the acreable 
produce of my autumn-sown plants. — Sup- 
posing, therefore, that, on a medium, each cow 
or ox eats half a ton a week, or 143 lb. each 24 
hours, and that this keep is only worth 4s. per 
week, an acre of cabbages, as above, at this 
estimate, will be worth 41 1, per acre , but at 
the first calculation of 86 tons ten hundred, it 
will be worth 341. 







- 5 

Two ploughings. 



- 4 

Setting, - 





Two Horse-hoeings, 









19 5 O 


In the account of expenses I have rated 
them beyond the truth, and have estimated 
the land at an high value -, but it v^ill be 
objected, that 51. an acre is not enough fof- 
manure ; I answer, more than enough for 
land rich likfe mine j but allowing 121. an acre, 
still the profit will be 121.- 5s. 

This account will-, I hope, pVeva'il on others 
to iriake tri^l 6f thfese plafttsl THey come to 
their perfeiti'oh when ttie eddish is over, ari(l 
greatly exceed turnips in feeding either fat 
cattle or milk coVvs, and are not only to be 
sought for, as they are an excellent food, and 
produce riiucli dung, but as they save hay, 
which; i'n general, is very dear and scarce iii 
this country, and does by ho means produce 
so mUch milk, or fat beasts so well. Will 
four shillings a-week keep a large cow in fine 
order when hay is 6d. pjer stone ? and it is 
often more. 


The Method ofiising Se'd-lVeed in IS^coilariii*. '' " 

Of sea-weed there are three difTerent kinds. 
The best is that which is cut from the rocks, 

* By Sir A. Purves, Bart. 


and of which kelp is made. The second-b^st 
is called the peasy sort. The worst is that with 
a long stalk. All these kinds are used in Scot- 
land, but chiefly for the barley-crop, in which 
case, or for fallow, it is ploughed in directly. 
The people of the country have so high an opi- 
nion of its fertilizing quality, that they some- 
times lay it on after the barley is in the ground, 
but that is a slovenly and injudicious method. 
In the neighbourhood of Berwick, it is used 
in their compound dunghills, with fold-yard, 
stable-dung, and earth j and in that manner an 
immense quantity of dung is produced by such 
farmers as are situated near the sea. In that 
neighbourhood, the farmers are very intelli- 
gent ; and it is a pity that such excellent ma- 
nagement should be so little known in many 
parts of the northern coast of England,* where 
the sea-weed is produced in great abundance. 
It is remarkable that such farmers as use the 
sea-weed properly, have their lands in such 
heart as seldom to have occasion for a fallow 
to restore their freshnefs. This species of 
manure is experimentally found to be excel- 
lent for gardens, as it not only enriches the 
ground, but also destroys all kinds of vermin. 



The Method of preparing Land for so^ji'ing Liiccrn 

It having been found by repeated experi- 
ments, that broad-cast lucern will not succeed 
upon lands that are not perfectly clean, I de- 
termined upon the following method of pre- 
paration, which has succeeded beyond my 
most sanguine expectations. 

In the month of August, 1771, I mowed 
tlie grafs from one acre three roods of land 
intended for lucern, and immediately after 
the hay was removed, I pared and burnt the 
surface. The ashes were put into two heaps, 
and covered with sods, to prevent the in- 
fluence of the air upon the salts produced 
by this operation, 'i'he ground was then 
ploughed as deep as its staple would admit of. 
On the ] 1th of November I harrowed it with 
heavy harrows, and on the 2jth I ploughed it 
acrofs. On the 4th of January, 1772, it was 
harrowed again. One heap of the ashes was 
spread on the 23d of- March, and on the 
2d of April the land was ploughed and sown 

- Bv A. St. Lcgf?r, Esq. 

Volume I. F f 


with lentils. Had the weather permitted, 
I should have sown immediately upon spread- 
ing the ashes. About the beginning of 
August the lentils were cut, and the other 
heap of ashes was spread upon the surface ; 
after which the land was ploughed, and 
immediately sown with turnip-seed. The 
turnips were well hoed, and produced an 
exceeding good crop. Being late sown, they 
consequently kept later in the spring than 
such as were sown at the usual season. 

From this mode of management, I dare say 
that no land was ever in a better state for the 
Norfolk course of crops— of all others the 
most rational and profitable. But as my de- 
sign is only to give the best method of pre- 
paring land for sowing lucern broad-cast, 
I shall drop any observations upon the pro- 
priety of the Norfolk husbandry, viz. turnips, 
barley, clover, and wheat. The exact esti- 
mate of the expense incurred by my manage- 
ment is as follows 5 

Two years rent, - - c^ 1 8 O 

Mowing and getting the hay, 7 

Carried forward, 115 O 


Brought forward, jC V 15 O 
Paring and burning, - - 1 10 7i 
Ploughing three times, - 14 
Harrowing, - - -050 

Gathering the ashes into heaps, 15 O 
Spreading ditto, - - 10 O 
Lentil and turnip-seed. - -0150 
Mowing and getting the lentils, 9 
Hoeing turnips,' - - 7 

Produce of hay. 
Ditto of lentils, - 
Value of turnips. 



. 4 








Profit, 5 9 4i 

In May, 1773, T sowed the field, broad- 
cast, with lucern-seed, after being properly 
ploughed. and harrowed. The quantity of 
seed twelve pounds per acre, which I re- 
commend to be sown at twice, in order that 
the seed may be the more equally distributed 
upon the surface. Every time that the lucern 
is cut, the land must be run over by the 



harrows, to tear up the grafs and weeds that 
otherwise would eat out the lucern. The year 
after sowing, the plants should be hand- 
weeded, being then very tender ; but the 
succeeding years, when the roots have firmly 
penetrated the soil, the heaviest harrows may 
be introduced, without a pofsibility of in- 
juring the plants. 

After the frosts are over, and vegetation 
begins, the lands may be harrowed, if foul ; 
but if clean, that operation will not be re- 
quired till after the first cutting. At this 
present time, (August 1775) I am cutting the 
third crop, and expect another cutting this 
season. With the above preparation of the 
land, and a proper attention to the lucern 
after being sown, there is no doubt but that 
this foreign grafs will be a means of im- 
proving the British Husbandry, by liberally 
supplying our cattle with green forage of 
a most luxurious and nourishing nature. 


On Transplanting Potatoe Tops*. 

On the 18th of May, 1772, finding some 
beds I had sown very early with onions to be 

* By Mr. Ellera;, near Manchester. 


a mifsing crop, I was induced to make the 
following experiment. The year before, 
I had set some potatoes in another part of my 
garden, in the common way j and as it is im- 
pofsible but some will remain in the ground 
all winter, so I found a number of sprouts 
about three inches high, which I nipped off 
close to the ground, and transplanted them 
into the onion beds, without any further pre- 
paration, about a foot and a half asunder, in 
the same manner that cabbages and cauli- 
flowers are planted. As the season became 
immediately very dry, I was obliged to give 
my plants a little water for four or five suc- 
cefsive nights ; after which they began to 
flourish, and had the appearance of a promis- 
ing crop during all the summer. At the 
usual time, in October, I ordered them to be 
taken up s and for size, quantity, and quality, 
they exceeded all I ever had in the common 
way. Had the ground been fresh, properly 
manured and prepared, and the plants put 
down at a proper distance from each other, 
I am of opinion that the succefs would have 
been still greater. Cuttings from the full 
grown plant will take root in the same kindly 
nianner, if gently watered when put down. 


4j4 georgical essays. 

Both these experiments are, however, but 
matters of curiosity. 


On ?nifiitiie Lime*. 

Take twenty-four bushels of slaked lime ; 
train-oil foot, sixteen gallons. Mix these 
together, taking care that the lime be suf- 
ficiently cold before the oil is added. This 
quantity is thought sufficient for an acre of 
winter or spring corn. It is intended to sup- 
ply the place of rape-dust, and should be put 
upon the land in the same manner. It may 
also be recommended as a top-drcfsing for 
wheat in the spring ; the earlier the better. 
From the few trials that have been made upon 
this compost, it appears to be pofsefsed of 
considerable nutritive powers ; but as nothing 
should be adopted as a truth in agriculture, 
which has not stood the test of numerous 
trials, the above compost is recommended as 
an object worthy of future experiment. It is 
also recommended to gardeners as a top- 
drefsing for all kinds of seeds, as it is pre- 
sumed that it will prevent the mischiefs 

'^ By A. Hunter, M. D. 


occasioned by insects. By the experiments 
of Mr. Townley, of BelfieJd, near Rochdale, 
the oil-compost is found to be of great use in 
raising large crops of onions. This nutritive 
lime being upon the same principles, and 
much easier of preparation, will probably 
answer the same purposes. It will' here be 
proper to remark, that light soils are best 
managed by top-drefsings : Stiff lands require 
lime and plenty of rotten dung to break the 
cohesion of their particles. This distinction 
should be seriously attended to by the culti- 
vators of land, who wish to enlar'^e their 
understandings by tracing effects up to their 
proper causes. 


On feeding Hogs with Potatoes*. 
From an accurate experiment made last 
year, I dare venture to recommend baked 
potatoes as an excellent food for ho<^s. The 
pork produced by this food, was equal to that 
from barley and beans ; but at present I can- 
not exactly ascertain the comparative experi- 
ment with regard to expense ; however, I am 
of opinion that roasted potatoes, consideriu"- 

By Mr. Charles Chaloner. 



the improvement of the hogs, is as cheap 
a foodj if not cheaper, than can be given 
them. I roast my potatoes upon a kiln, 
similar to what is used by oat-meal shellers 
for drying their oats. The difference in ex- 
pense between boiling and roasting the pota- 
toes is prodigious, both with regard to the 
labour ancT fuel. A kiln that will cost 3l. 
will roast potatoes sufficient for the main- 
tenance of more than 20 hogs ; and one man 
will bestow all the necefsary attendance upon 
them, and do other work besides. The 
action of the fire, by difsipating the crude 
juices that are contained in raw potatoes, re- 
duces them into a state highly wholesome and 
nutritious. Boiling does this in part, but not 
so effectually. A potatoe roasted in the man- 
ner above described, partakes much of the 
nature of a chesnut, and perhaps is not 
greatly inferior to it. 

. XLVI. 

A Comparison between Red and White Wheat*. 

It is a mistaken notion in those who buy 
wheat for family use, to give the preference 

* B> Mr. JL. Cleaver, of Nunningtor, near York. 


to the white sort, it being a demonstrable fact, 
that the red is considerably heavier. It is 
moreover of suoh a strong body, that provided 
you weigh 100 lb. of the flour made from white 
wheat, and 100 lb. from red wheat, the latter 
by taking a greater quantity of water, will 
make a larger weiglit of bread. This circum- 
stance is known to few, except bakers and 
corn-dealers, who, iii many of the country 
markets, buy the red wheat at 8d. and some- 
times Is. per bushel under the price of the 
white and weaker kind. 


On the best Method of raising Early Potatoes* 

As the culture of potatoes, and particularly 
of the early sorts for the table, has of late be- 
come an object of very general attention, I 
hope the following account of a new method of 
obtaining these (without the help of hot-beds) 
will be acceptable to the public. 

On the 2d of January, 1 772, I made a hot- 
bed for the forward sort of potatoes, and on the 
7th put in the sets, placing a glafs and frame 

By Mr. M. Kirk, ofWiidcrspool, near Manchester. 


over them, and taking every precaution to de- 
fend them from the frost. Of these small pota- 
toes, or sets, their remained about forty in a 
basket, which was accidentally hung up in a 
warm kitchen, and there remained unnoticed 
till about the '2jth of April. I then accident- 
ally observed the basket, and perceiving some- 
thing green on the edge of it, took it down, 
and, to my great surprise, found that the po- 
tatoes had sprouted half a yard in length, and 
that there w ere a great number of very small 
potatoes formed on the fibrous roots which had 
grown out. 1 took them into my garden, and 
planted them in a rich sandy soil, without any 
manure. The roots I put into the ground 
three inches deep, and laid down the stems 
that had sprouted, horizontally, and covered 
them with two inches of soil, but left the tops 
uncovered. Without farther attention they 
grew surprisingly. 

On the 26ih of May, I took up the roots 
planted in the hot-bed on the 7th of January. 
They by no means answered my expectations, 
or paid for the trouble of their culture : But at 
the same time, I was astonished to find the 
others, which were put into the ground so late, 
to have produced larger potatoes than the 


roots in the hot-bed. I took up all the roots, 
and picked off the large potatoes from them, 
which amounted to from 4 to 12 on each root, 
and then set the roots again on the same ground. 
This, indeed, I have succefsfully practised for 
many years, sometimes even twice, and hav«: 
had a good third crop at Michaelmas. When 
this method is tried, the roots must be watered 
on the evenings of hot days. 

In January, 1773, in order to make a second 
trial of this experiment with a large quantity, 
I placed a great many potatoes of the early 
sorts on a thick layer of gravelly soil, close to 
each other, over an oven, slated over, but open 
to the south-west, and covered them two inches 
deep with the same earth. 

At the end of April I took them up, and 
found the stems about a foot long or more. 
For fear of injuring the fine and delicate fibres 
of the roots, I took great care in taking them 
up, and planting them in the soil. This I now 
manured, but in all other respects treated them 
in the manner above described, many of the 
fibrous roots having then potatoes formed upon 
them, nearly as large as walnuts. For a week 
the plants came on surprisingly, when, by one 


sharp night's uncommon frost, they were nearly 
destroyed. However, notwithstanding this, 
fresh stems grew up in a few days, and I actu- 
ally gathered from them, on the 3d of June 
following, finer potatoes than were sold at that 
time, at Manchester, from Is. to Is. 6d. per lb. 
being the produce of hot-beds. 

After taking off the larger potatoes, I again 
planted the roots for a second crop, and in 
September obtained a very large produce. I 
weighed the increase of many separate roots, 
which amounted from 4 lb 8 oz. to 14 lb. 12oz. 
the potatoes being the largest of the forward 
kinds I ever saw. 


On Lime*, 

From the repeated succefs I have had in 
liming of land, I am induced to relate an ex- 
periment, which I am convinced may be at- 
tended with as much public utility, as it has 
been productive of my own private advantage. 

In the year 1765, I ploughed up a piece of 
lean swarth, containing 1 8 acres, which, to all 

* By Mr. E. Cleaver, of Nunningtonj near York. 


appearance, had it been sown with oats, would 
not have produced above 3 quarters per acre. 
The quality was a wet, cold clay, not very 
stiff, but spungy, and worth about 10s. an 
acre, tithe-free. It will be proper to mention, 
that, in the time of the distemper amongst the 
cattle, it was under the plough, and continued 
in tillage till it would scarce bring the seed 
again ; after which -it was suffered to lie down 
without either grafs-seeds or manure, and con- 
sequently had no chance to improve but by 
rest and length of time. — This, as near as I 
can describe, was the quality of the land. 

, My course of husbandry was as follows : 
Early in the spring I ploughed it outof swarth, 
and laid on 167 chaldrons of lime, 32 bushels, 
upheaped, to the chaldron. The whole was 
laid on immediately after the first ploughing, 
or as soon as I could get it burnt and led to 
the land. After being four times ploughed, 
and well harrowed between each ploughing, 
I sowed the whole 18 acres with rape. From 
the leannefi and toughnefs of the swarth, I 
could not get it into proper order j so that 
towards the time of the wheat ripening, rapes 
put up in the places where the crop was thin- 



nest, and did me considerable damage. I 
have observed that I laid on 1 67 chaldrons of 
lime upon the whole 1 8 acres ; which is at the 
rate of 9t per acre j but as I had a desire to 
know the effect of the lime in different pro- 
portions, I divided the field into two unequal 
portions, N" 1 . and N° 2. On N" 1 . (7 acres) 
were laid 84 chaldrons, which is 12 chaldron 
per acre ; on N'^ 2. (11 acres) were laid only 
83 chaldrons, which is about li chaldrons per 

The acreable Produce for three Crops. 


N^ I. 

1770. Rape, (4 ploughings) SST 
bushels, at 20 1. per last, f 

1771. "Wheat, fl ploughing) 501 
stooks, or 40 bushels, — j 

1772. Oats, (1 ploughing) 68 
bushels; but would have been 
more had not the harvest 
proved remarkably wet, 
whereby one fourth of the 
crop, at least, was lost, 

s. d. 



5 19 

Produce of 3 crops, 25 19 O 


N" II. 1. s. d. 

1770. Rape,(4ploughings)24 bushels, 6 

1771. Wheat, (I ploughing) 52 ditto, 9 12 

1772. Oats (1 ploughing) 68 ditto, 5 19 O 

Produce of 3 crops, 2111 O 

Produce of N<» 1. 25 19 O 
Ditto of N» 2. 21 11 O 

Difference in 3 crops, 4 8 

It must here be remarked that the oats on 
this part were cut first, and did not receive so 
much damage by the wet season as N" 1. other- 
wise they were not near so strong. 

As I burn my own lime, it does not cost mc 
above 7s. 6d. per chaldron ; so that the whole 
12 chaldrons are paid for in three crops by the 
extraordinary produce, and the land left in 
better condition by three or four shillings per 

I would not have it understood that all land 
can bear an equal quantity of lime with what 
I have here mentioned. AVhoevcr tries the ex- 
periment on old tilled land will find himself in 


an error, especially if the soil be clay, which is 
apt to be too much bound after the fermenta- 
tion of the lime is over — but sand lands can 
never be over-done with lime, provided it be 
laid on in the spring, and not of that fiery kind 
which many of the sorts are. Lime differs in 
quality as well as land itself. In many coun- 
tries the crops would be burnt up if two chal- 
drons were laid on an acre ; whereas in Derby- 
shire there are instances of people laying on 12 
and 14 chaldrons per acre on grafs land. 

As this quantity of lime exceeds any expe- 
riment I have heard of in this country, I am 
apprehensive the farmers in general will not 
give credit to it ; however, I attest it as a fact ; 
and as it is a thing of much consequence, I 
shall have a particular pleasure in having it 
confirmed by similar experiments. 


On preparing Seed-Wlieat with Oil*. 

The autumn of the year 1770 being remark- 
ably wet, and a bad time for sowing wheat, 
whereby many acres of land could not be con- 

* B}' Mr. E. Cleaver, of Nunnington, near York. 


verted to the intended purpose, but were 
obliged to be cropped witli oats or barley in 
the spring; I was induced, through the pro- 
spect of a great scarcity of wheat, to sow down 
fiv^e acres of land at Candlemas, after eating 
off a crop of turnips with sheep ; and as th;i 
season continued extremely unfavourable, I had 
recourse to the following preparation of my 
seed, with a view to counteract the wetnefs of 
the season : I put a pint of fish oil, and 3 lb. 
of salt, to every bushel of seed ; and as the 
birds at that season would of course be trouble- 
some, I sowed three bushels and a half of seed 
to the acre. 1 had a further reason for bestow- 
ing this additional yOX rather exiraoi'dinaiy qu^ri'- 
tity of seed, which was, that the thicker the 
corn came up, the lefs it would gather, and 
consequently would ripen quicker. My seed 
was the common Red Lammas, which is the 
hardiest as well as the heaviest sort. The pro- 
duce was 245 stooks (or 45 stooks to the acre) 
which yielded as follows : 

50 stooks, threshed out at Michael-") 

mas, produced — \ ^ 

30 ditto at Candlemas, 27 

30 ditto in May, — 24 


Volume /. G iT 


From the computation of 90 stooks to 
81 bushels, the whole crop of 245 stooks 
would yield 220- bushels, or 44 bushels to 
the acre. Tlie straw was about 24 thraves 
per acre, and sold so high as Is. 6d. per 
thvave, wliich is ll. 16s. per acre, though the 
a'\-eragc price of straw, in this country, is not 
Is. per thrave. 


44 bushels, at 6s. each, jOlS 4 

24 thraves, at Is. 6d each 116 O 

Per acre, 15 

From the experiment of the proof of the 
corn by the stock, it plainly appears that, be- 
tween Michaelmas and Mav-dav, the farmer 
loses in measure 6 bushels in 30, or y part, by 
the mere pining of the grain. 

I find this method of steeping seed-corn in 
cil was formerly practised by the Romans. 

Seniina vidi equidem multos medicare serentes, 
El ujtro prius, cL nigra perl'undere araurca, 
(jiar.dior ut fctlus siiiqiiis fallacibus efset. 

ViRG, Georg. lib. i. 1. 193. 


^ There is reason to believe that thisproccfs of 
oiJing the seed will be found highly service- 
able in wet seasons, and perhaps at all times 
may contribute to the enriching the farina of 
the grain, which we know, from experiment, 
constitutes thenourishmentofthe tender o--rm' 


On Dibbling Wheat *. 

It is now become very common m the coun- 
ty of Norfolk to dibble their wheat instead of 
drilling, or sowing it broad-cast. The advan- 
tages of this method are numerous It secures 
a clean crop of excellent seed, and saves to the 

community an enormous quantity of wheat, that 
mevitablyinust have been consumed and lostin 
the common method. It besides finds em- 
ployment for the women and children, at a 
tmie when th. ir afsistance is not required bv 
the farmer for other purposes. Their labour 
IS therefore a clear gain to the public. Jt has 
been objected, that if this method should be- 
come general, the farmer could not procure 
hands to put his work sufficiently forward. I 
readily grant that the villages could not suffici- 
ently supply the necefsary hands, but it should 

^y John Curzon, Esq. 

G rrO 


be considered, that, where work is certain, 
numbers of people are invited from towns and 
other remote distances. I need produce no ar- 
guments, after mentioning the facility with 
which hands are procured for the gathering 
saffron and hops. Previous to setting the 
wheat, the land must be ploughed and ma- 
nured as for a crop of broad-cast grain. After 
harrowing it well, and smoothing the surface 
with a light roller, it is prepared for setting, 
w^hich is performed by making holes with a 
kind of dibble used for pease, the man work- 
ing backwards, and the women and children 
following, and dropping two or three grains 
of wheat into each hole. The dibbles are so 
contrived, that a man may, with one stroke of 
his foot, make three or four holes at once — 
the holes about seven inches asunder, and two 
inches deep. After the whole ground is set, 
a light harrow must be introduced to fill up 
the holes ; and when the weeds advance, some 
tumip-hoers must be employed to stir the 
ground and cut down the weeds ; after this, 
no further care is required till the harvest, 
when the farmer may be afsured of a plen- 
tiful and clean crop, in reward for his extra- 
ordinary attention. Two pecks of wheat will 
set an acre ; the price of labour about eight 


shillings. It is now become a common prac- 
tice to dibble wheat upon a clover lay after a 
single ploughing. 


On Claying Land *. 

Where the land has never been broke up, 
the clay may be carried and spread, and suffer- 
ed to lie a whole year before it is ploughed in. 
The flag will set the clay a- working; but where 
there is no flag, a coat of dung will be necef- 
sary before the land is sown. Where the clay 
is short, and the soil light, 120 loads will be 
required for an acre ; but where the clay is 
strong, and the land not so light, then 60 or 
80 loads will be suflicient. It is better to Jay 
on too little than too much ; it will be suffi- 
cient if the land is made moderately cloddy. 
About a cubical yard of clay makes a load. 
Carry the clay at any convenient time of the 
year. If time permit, carry it after harvest, 
and lay it upon a wheat stubble ; there let it 
remain spread all the winter. In March, plough 
it in ; again in May, and twice in June, and 
sow turnips about Midsummer. In Norfolk 

* By the Rev. Mr. Buxlon, Norfolk. 



they formerly paid one guinea for filling and 
spreading 120 loads of clay, but now (1772) 
they are obliged to allow something more. 


On Siberian Barley *. 

It is not yet determined what kind of land 
is most suitable for the cultivation of Siberian 
barley. From the weight of the grain, it would 
seem that it requires good rich land ; and in- 
deed my experiment, when compared with 
others made upon poor land, seems to me very 
decisive in favour of a rich soil. In the first 
week of April, 1774, I ploughed half a rood 
of land that the year before had borne a crop 
of cabbages, and sowed it with a bushel of 
Siberian barley. The soil a rich hazel earth. 
The crop was reaped before the common bar- 
ley. The product seven bushels. 


A coniparati-ce J'iew of Manures -f. 
In the year 1771, I marked out a rood of 
land into divisions, and sowed them with oats. 
The variety of manures made use of in this 
experiment are marked as follows : 

* By Mr. Wright ofCraike. 
+ By A. Young, Esq. 



O -^ --i CN c-1 C-l O CI O 



< a, cj -I o « 



.2 o' o^ o" 

"Q ii i! ti 

3 ._ ^ ._ 

o 13 "C -a 

o o o o 

■^J- CN ^ -' 

^ O o o 


c o 

« -a 

a ^ 

•5^ rt 

6 c 

•^ a 

"o i2 
.S sT 


s ; 

^ s 

^ n 

D O 

J3 — ' 

S S o 


•- -2 „ 

S g rt ^ S 

-C .C -C ^ bjO 

""" ^ "^ ~ -C 

?5 " 

w) iJ 

rt w 

o O 


« >• rt .■;:; .t: .ti ."ti .■? .-5 .-5 
^^"^ =^-a "T! -o -o ^3 -c -o 

o oooooooo 

s s 

j2 -a 



G g4. 



On Potatoes*, 

When potatoes are planted on land that 
has a disposition to too much moisture, 
especially when the sumnler is wet, it gene- 
rally happens that the crop is injured by 
water standing in the furrows between the 
rows. In land so circumstanced, it is a 
a juicious practice to plant the potatoes acrofs 
the ridge, which will effectually prevent the 
water from injuring the crop by giving it 
a ready descent into the furrows that divide 
the lands. 


On fatting Hogs *. 
As there were some young hogs that we 
wanted to keep over the summer, seven of the 
largest were put up to fat on the 25th of 
February. They were fatted upon barley- 
meal, of which they had as much as they could 
eat ; some days after, the observation of a par- 
ticular circumstance suggested the following 

* By Gilbert Crompton, Esq. 

■\ By the Earl of Egremont's Steward. 


•experiment, A hog, nearly of the same size 
as the seven, but who had not been put with 
them because they appeared to be rather 
larger, but without weighing them, was con- 
fined on the 4th of March, in a cage made of 
planks, of which one side was made to move 
with pegs, so as to fit exactly the size of the 
hog, with small holes at the bottom for the 
water to drain from'him, and a door behind to 
remove the soil. The cage stood upon four 
feet, about a foot from the ground, and was 
made to confine the hog so closely, that he 
could only stand up to feed, and lie down 
upon his belly. He had only two bushels of 
barley meal, and the rest of his food was 
boiled potatoes. They were all killed on the 
ISth of April, and the weights were as follow, 
(8 1b. to the stone:) 

The hog in the cage, 13 st. 2 lb. The 
other hogs, all of the same breed, 
12 St. 21b. 
12 ' 3 












The hog in the cage was weighed before 
he was put in ; he then weighed, aliv e, 
11 St. 1 lb. He was kept five weeks and five 
days, and then weighed, alive, 18st. 3lb. 
He eat two bushels of barley-meal, and about 
eight bushels of potatoes. He was sulky for 
the two first days, and would eat nothing. 



On the most profitable Method of managing light 
Arable Lands. 

J\ Judicious course of crops constitutes 
a most efsential part of an arable farm. The 
following is practised in Norfolk, a country 
remarkable for the best courses. 

First Year--- — Turnips. 

1. Plough the stubble up about Christmas. 

2. The beginning of March, plough again 
and harrow. 

3. The beginning of April, plough and har- 
row ; but before you begin to plough this 
third time, spread twelve loads of good manure 
upon each acre. 

4. Plough again a fortnight before Old Mid- 
summer; then sow your turnip-seed, two pints 
to an acre, and harrow it in. — Hoe the turnips 

Second Fi?a7\—— Barley and Clover. 
Get the turnips off the beginning of March — 
plough and harrow. Three wTeks after, 
plough and harrow again. The latter end of 


ApriJ, or beginning of May, plough the third 
time ; but before you begin to plough, sow 
half of the seed upon the land, namely, a 
bushel and a half per acre, then plough and 
sow the same quantity of seed above furrow. 
Harrow once ; then sow ten pounds of good 
clover-seed, and let the barley and clover be 
harrowed in together. 

Thh'd Year Clover. 

Take two crops of clover -, or, if you think 
proper, reserve the second crop for seed. 

Fourth Year Wheat. 

A fortnight, or three weeks, after Old Mi- 
chaelmas, plough your land. As soon as 
ploughed, throw two chaldrons of hot lime 
upon each acre. Harrow the lime and the 
seed in together. Provided the land be clean, 
I think two bushels of wheat or barley suffi- 
cient seed for an acre. 

Expense of the Turnip Crop. 

1. s. d. 
Four ploughings and harrow- 1 
ings, at 3s. 6d. each ^ 

Twelve loads of manure, and" 

carriage, at 5 s. per load 
Seed,2 pints. Is. Hoeing twice, 7s. 8 


J. 3 

4 2 


Expense of Barley and Clover. 

1. s. d. 

Three plou^hin^s and harrow-l 

^ , J. 10 6 

ings, at 3s. 6d. each I 

Seed, two bushels, 5s. Clover 10s. 15 

Reaping Is. 6d. Beer Is. 6d. 

Getting in 5s. , 

I 8 

1 13 6 

Expefise of the Clover Crop. 

1. s. d. 

Cuttingandbeer 2s. Making Is. S 

Carrying 5s. Second crop 7s. 6d. O 12 6 

15 6 

Expense of the Wheat Crop. 

1. s. d. 

Ploughing once and harrowing -040 

Lime, 2 chaldrons, ll. Carriage 10s. 1 10 O 

Seed, two bushels — 10 O 

Reaping 6s. Beer Is. 6d. Carrying 5s. 12 6 

2 16 6 


Expense of the four Years* 

Turnip crop 
Barley ditto 
Clover ditto 
Wheat ditto 














9 7 6 

]. s. d. 
Nine pounds seven shillings and'J 

sixpence, for four years, makes /• 2 6 lOi 

each crop, upon an average, J 

Add rent ll. Tithes and rates 7s. 9d. I 7 9 

Rent, rates, and cultivation per^acre 3 14 
Profits of four Crops. 

Turnip crop worth 

Barley ditto, 36 bushels at 2s. 6d. 
Clover ditto, first crop, three loads 
Second ditto, two loads — 

Wheat ditto, 28 bushels at 5s. 

Nineteen pounds tfn shillings, 

makes each crop upon an aver-^ 4 17 
age — 


3 : 



























Profit per acre — — 

Expenses — — 

Clear profit per acre 13 

Lands cultivated in this manner will never 
be over-run with weeds 5 neither can the ground 
be distrefsed, as tap-rooted plants regularly 
follow such as spread their roots superficially^ 
-^The system is fiDunded on reason, and sup- 
ported by experience. Nice farmers dibble 
in the wheat, dropping three grains into each 
hole. For this practice a clover lay, after one 
ploughing, is the most favourable. 


On the Sexes of Plants . 

VV HEN we unfold the volume of nature, 
the human mind may very justly be compared 
to a bee unable to settle amidst a \rariety of 
sweets. Every \^'^g^ presents us with a sub- 
ject inexprefsibly pleasing, and every object 
fills us with admiration as well as delight. 
We are at a lofs to acknowledge the existence 

of a Supreme Being, or the benign influence 
of that Being in providinsr for the happinefs 
and convenience of his creatures, in stronger 

Every person who takes a view of nature 
in this light, must undoubtedly conclude, that 
as the wants and conveniences of life were 
designed to be supplied ftom the storehouse 
of nature, from the very moment that man 
started into existence, so the means for 
executing that design on the most advan- 
tageous terms, must be a laudable as well as 
necefsary undertaking. 


Man, above all other creatures, is blefsed 
with a power of improving his understanding, 
and his actions, to an amazing degree of per- 
fection. And he that is desirous to drink 
clear water, rather than muddy and cor- 
rupted, usually neglects the distant stream, 
and prudently repairs to the fountain head, 
where the element flows pure and un- 

In arts and sciences, the practical part will 
be conducted upon a vague and uncertain 
plan, till the theoretical be founded upon 
rational and consistent principles. The eco- 
nomical part of nature depends much upon 
the phisiological ; and even in common life, 
causes must ever be prudently adjusted, if we 
expect their consequences to be pleasing. It 
is this that has led on science, through the 
different periods of time, to the height she 
has now arrived at ; and it is this that, in 
future ages, will render the improvement 
of the present a;ra, admired, carefsed and 

The present century is very remarkable for 
its various improvements in natural history, 
among which agriculture deservedly claims 

Volume L H h 


the foremost rank. And since agriculture 
has been reduced to a regular science, and its 
principles established upon facts and experi- 
ments, it has made a commendable and ex- 
tensive progrefs. We every day experience 
the most pleasing efTccts from the industry 
of men of literature and ingenuity, who are 
continually taking up the pencil to fill up the 
outlines of so grand a design. Much has 
already been done, and yet a great deal re- 
mains to be executed. Nature unfolds not 
all her treasures at once, but is slow and 
gradual in her operations. The hyacinth and 
the tulip require the warmth of many re- 
volving suns to produce their inimitable 
beauty and attire ! 

The labours of the great Linnaeus can 
never be sufficiently admired , and his en- 
deavours to new-model the study of nature, 
have already exceeded the most sanguine ex- 
pectation. He has sketched out the phi- 
losophy of nature so strongly, that he is every 
where considered as the wonder of his age. 
The subject of this efsay, in particular, owes 
much to his penetration ; and though he docs 
not claim the sole merit of discovering the 
«exes of plants, yet he deserves our utmost 


acknowledgements for having brought all the 
arcuments in favour of it into the clearest 
point of view. It is now a truth too glaring 
to be denied. 

We find that the ancients were by no means 
strangers to the notion of the sexes of plants ; 
and though their writings do not bear any 
very strong evidence in their behalf, yet their 
observations and their practice clearly demon- 
strate it. They appear to have been perfectly 
satisfied that nature pursues the same plan of 
preserving the species in the vegetable, as in 
the animal world : That male and female are 
as distinct in the one kingdom as the other, 
and that they are governed by similar laws. 

Herodotus tells us that the Babylonians, 
in cultivating the Palm-tree, with which their 
country was plentifully stored, were forced to 
gather the flowers of the male tree, and carry 
them to the female, if they expected to reap 
any fruit ; but their notions went no further 
than the customary practice. Theophrastus, 
in his history of plants, observes that some 
kinds of trees were distinctly male and 
female, and strengthens his supposition by 
adding that the one bore fruit, and the other 
was barren. 

II h 2 


It Is amazing that nothing material should 
have been struck out upon the subject from 
Theophrastus's time till Sir Thomas Milling- 
ton, Savilian Profefsor of Astronomy at Oxford, 
towards the clofe of the last century, revived 
the notion, and cleared the way for the ex- 
periments of the celebrated Grew. Since 
that time many able naturalists have discufsed 
the point with clearnefs and precision, among 
whom our illustrious countryman, Mr. Ray, 
appears with Camerarius, Moreland, Geoffroy, 
Vaillant, Blair, Bradley, and others, 

This new doctrine met with some con- 
siderable opponents. Monsieur Tournefort 
was a violent adversary ; and Dr. Alston, the 
late Profefsor of Botany at Edinburgh, 
mustered all his forces in the opposition. 

The critical reader will be much pleased 
with the anatomical description of the parts 
of flowers, and the nice difsection of their 
organs of generation, in Grew's Anatomy of 
Plants, Linnaeus's Philosophia Botanica, and 
in the Sponsalia Plantarum in the first volume 
of the Amasnitates Academicee, to which 
I refer him. But however obvious the sexes 
of plants may appear in some clafses in the 


same flower, in others in different flowers, and 
in others upon cUfferent plants, yet I fear the 
peculiar mode of operation, by which nature 
ultimately effects her generations in the ve- 
getable world, will continue a secret so long 
as the theory of animal conception remains 
undetermined. All that seems useful to us 
is already discovered ; and let man, the finite 
creature of an hour, leave the rest to the 
Author of Nature to disclose, by those gentle 
degrees which always terminate in some un- 
foreseen bounty and munificence. 

In the 47th volume of the Philosophical 
Transactions, there is a letter from Mr. Myhus 
of Berlin, dated from thence February 20, 
1750-5 1, to Dr. Watson, which was presented 
to the Royal Society by the Doctor in the 
succeeding year, and published by him, with 
his own observations, in the Transactions. 
It contains a proof of the sexes of plants, 
from an experiment made on the Palm-tree. 
The singularity of the experiment will 
apologize for its appearance in this efsay. 

" The sex of plants is very well confirmed 
by an experiment that has been made here 
on the Palma Major foliis ftabclliformihus. 

H h 3 


There is a great tree of this kind in the garden 
of the Royal Academy. It has flowered and 
borne fruit these thirty years, but the fruit 
never ripened, and when planted it did not 
vegetate. The Palm-tree, as you know, is a 
Planta Dioecia., that is, one of those in which 
the male and female parts of generation are 
upon different plants. We having no male 
plants, the flowers of our female were never 
impregnated by Wit farina of the male. There 
is a male plant of this kind in a garden at 
Leipsic, twenty German miles from Berlin. 
AVe procured from thence, in April 1749, a 
branch of male flowers, and suspended it over 
our female ones, and the experiment suc- 
ceeded so well, that our Palm-tree produced 
more than an hundred perfectly ripe fruit ; 
from which we have already eleven young 
Palm-trees. This experiment was repeated last 
year, and our Palm-tree bore above two thou- 
sand ripe fruit. As I do not remember a like 
experiment,! thought it convenient to mention 
it to you ; and if you think proper, be pleased 
to communicate it to the Royal Society.'* 

A person who is a stranger to natural, and 
more particularly to botanical knowledge, may 
make himself an entire master of what is meant 


by the sexes of plants, and form an accurate 
idea of the mode of generation, in the grofs, 
whose garden produces a single tulip. When 
the flower opens, if he looks within the leaves, 
or, to speak in the language of botanists, with- 
in the petals^ there will be found six slender 
erect chives, or staminaj surrounding a three- 
squared stronger body, called the poinf.aly or 
female part of the flower. Upon the top of 
each of the staviina hangs a small oval body, 
which, in a day or two after the flower is 
blown, may be observed to burst into a mealy 
substance. This meal, or farina, is the 
male part of the flower, and by the action 
of the wind is blown upon the pointaly 
or female part of the flower, which is 
furnislied with a viscous kind of matter, de- 
signed by nature to retain the male farina 
when blown upon it. From this moment the 
impregnation takes place, and the seed is pro- 
duced perfect and entire. 

As a further proof of the nccefsary influence 
ct the n\2i.\c farina, only pinch off the male 
part of the flower before {\\q farina begins to 
burst out, and the female part will, at the usual 
time of expecting the seed, present the exa- 
miner with nothing but an abortive seed- 



In most vegetables the male and female or- 
gans of generation appear in the saiJie flower ; 
but in some plants there are male and female 
flowers on sepai^ate parts of the same plant ; 
and in other plants, the male flower appears on 
one plant, and the female on another. 

From these premises, the improvers of agri- 
culture, and even the common practical farmer, 
may be able to deduce very useful consequen- 
ces. If the farmer dreads heavy and sudden 
rains, immediately after he has sown his seed, 
he may, with equal reason, be afraid of them 
at the time his corn is in bloom. For, as the 
wet will injure him in one case by burstings 
the seed, so it will in the other by washing 
oflT ihefaiinay or male dust, whereby an effec- 
tual impregnation will be prevented. The 
farmer will not then be surprised if his grain 
appears small and pined at the time of thresh- 
ing, when he can so readily account for the 
cause in philosophic terms. 

But the principal use that will accrue to 
the gardener and the farmer from the discovery 
of the sexes of plants, will be the hints they 
may gain in regard to saving the different 
kinds of grain for seed. It is always an object 


with the judicious cultivator to throw fine bold 
seed upon the earth, if he expects the produce 
to gain him credit in the market. And cer- 
tainly if the winds have such an effect upon 
the farina of flowers, as not only to waft it 
upon the female flovi^ers of the same species, 
but even upon different species, care should 
be taken that the cabbage tribe, if desio-ned 
for seed, should be cultivated at as great a 
distance from each other as pofsible, to pre- 
vent the ill consequences of a Twow^re/ produce. 

Mr. MiJIer, in his Gardener's Dictionary, 
prescribes this caution to the cultivators of 
cabbages, cauliflowers, turnips, brocoli, &c. 
in very strong terms. For if they expect the 
several kinds to be perfect, these plants must 
by no means be set near each other when de- 
signed for seed, because, in that case, the 
farinas will undoubtedly incorporate, and pro- 
duce a bastardy or imperfect kind oi each 
species. Mr. Ray, in his History of Plants, 
tells a remarkable story of a gardener, one 
Richard Baal, of Bramford, who had sold 
cabbage-seed to the London gardeners as of 
an excellent kind, but unluckily, when sown 
and cuJtivated by them, produced an exceed- 
ing bad kind. The consequence was, that 


the man was prosecuted in the courts of justice 
at Westminster, and sentenced to return the 
money he had taken for the seed, and also to 
satisfy his customers for their waste of ground, 
time, and labour j though, in fact, he was not 
at all deserving of such a sentence, not having 
had the least design to impose upon them. 

Nothing is so common as for gardeners in 
the raising of melons and cucumbers, at the 
time of the flowering of those plants, to pinch 
off what they call the barren flowers, lest the 
quantity of fruit should impoverish its size. 
But for want of knowing that these plants 
produce male and female flowers separate 
upon the same plant, and that no fruit can be 
expected unlefs there be a communication of 
the two sexes, it is no wonder that their crops 
frequently fail. 

It may not be amifs to close this efsay, by 
pointing out some of the principal plants, in 
our own country, where the fructification 
varies from the usual form. 

1 . Male and female ' flowers on the same 
plant. Linnaeus's 21st Clafs, Monoecid. 



The Carex tribe of 

Birch tree. 

Chesnut tree. 

Hasel-Nut tree. 

2. Male and female flowers on separate 
plants. Linnseus's 2 2d Clafs, Dioecia. 





Black Briony. 


Dog's Mercury. 
Yew tree. 
Knee-Holly, or 

Butchers Broom. 

3. Flowers hermaphrodite, and also male 
or female flowers. Linnaeus*s 23d Clafs, 

Sycamore tree. Common Maple. Ash tree. 



On a Cheap and Expeditions Method of Draining 


ROM a very extensive experience, I re- 
commend the following method of draining 
land, as effectual, durable, and cheap. 

First make the main drains down the slope 
or fall of the field. When the land is very 
wet, or has not much fall, there should, in 
general, be two of these to a statute acre ; 
for the shorter the narrow drains are, the lefs 
liable they will be to accidents. 

The width of the trench for the main drains 
should be, at the top, about thirty inches ; 
but the width at the bottom must be re- 
gulated by the nature and size of the materials 
intended to be used. If the drain is to be 
made of bricks ten inches long, three inches 
thick, and four inches in breadth, then the 
bottom of the drain must be twelve inches j 
but if the common sale bricks are used, then 
the bottom must be proportionably contracted. 



In both cases there must be an interstice of 
one inch betvv«en the bottom brick and the 
sides of the trench, and the vacuity must be 
filled up with straw, rushes, or loose mould. 
For the purpose of making these drains, I 
order my bricks to be moulded ten inches 
long, four broad, and three thick. These di- 
mensions make the best drain ; and I beg 
leave to be understood, throughout this efsay, 
as speaking of bricks formed in the above 

The method I pursue in constructing my 
main drains is as follows : 

When the ground is soft and spungy, the 
bottom of the drain is laid with bricks, placed 
acrofs. On these, on each side, two bricks 
are laid flat, one upon the other, forming a 
drain six inches high and four broad. This 
is covered with bricks laid flat. Fig, 2. 
Plate 2. 

When I first, engaged in this mode of drain- 
ing, I conceived that \i\ places where the 
bottoms of the main drains Avere firm and 
solid, as of clay or marl, it would be an 
unnecefsary expense to pave them with brick. 


Under this idea, I recommended them to be 
constructed as in pi. 2. fig. 3. the sides being 
formed by placing one brick edgeways, in- 
stead of two laid flat. But after the ex- 
perience of some years, I found that the 
accefs of air and the alternation of wet and 
dry, occasioned the hardest clay, or marl, to 
tumble down, whereby the side bricks, not 
having a paved bottom, were made to fall in. 
From the experience of this circumstance, 
I now direct the main drains to be invariably 
paved with brick, as represented in pi. 2. fig. 2. 
This will render them as lasting as the sod, or 
pipe drains, which I have found free and 
open after being constructed twenty years. 
When stones are used instead of bricks, the 
bottom of the drain should be about eight 
inches in width. And here it will be proper 
to remark that, in all cases, the bottom of the 
main drains must be sunk four inches belovr 
the level of the narrow ones, even at the point 
where the latter fall into them. 

The main drains should be kept open till 
the narrow ones are begun from them, after 
which they may be finished : but before the 
earth is returned upon the stones, or bricks, it 
will be adviseable to throw in straw, rushes. 


or brush-wood, to increase the freedom of the 

The small narrow drains should be cut at 
the distance of sixteen or eighteen feet from 
each other, and should fall into the main drain 
at very acute angles, to prevent any stoppage. 
At the point where they fall into, and eight or 
ten inches above it, they should be made firm 
with brick or stone. 

In making the narrow drains I employ four 
labourers. The first man, with a common 
spade, takes out the turf, or sods, eighteen 
inches wide, (the drains being before marked 
out) and lays them carefully on one side 3 the 
secoad man, with a common spade also, digs 
out two, three, or more spits of earth (laying 
it on the other side of the trench) till he has 
cut through the soil, or staple, and come to 
the under-stratum of clay, marl, or other hard 
and solid body of earth. The bottom and 
sides of this trench must be cleanly wrought; 
and, allowing for the sloping of the sides in 
working, should, at the bottom, be clear six- 
teen inches wide. 

In this trench the frame, Fig. 5. Plate 2. is 


laid ; and, in the middle of it, the third man, 
who ought to be the strongest and most expert, 
works the long narrow draining spade in the 
body of the clay. By taking care to work it 
at its full depth, he is always sure of his level, 
if the drains are properly laid out. The wooden 
frame is of great use ; it gives [a firm support 
to the feet of the workman, keeps the bottom 
of the trench smooth and clean, and serves as 
a purchase to the wings of the narrow tool. 
Fig. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Plate 3. 

When thirty or forty yards have been cut 
out by the draining spade, the fourth man 
cleans the bottom of the drain with the scoop. 
Fig. 6. Plate 5. and works it quite smooth; he 
then covers it with the sods, laying the grafs 
side downwards. In this part of the work, too 
much care and attention cannot be used. The 
sods should be sound and dry, cut even on the 
sides, and fitted closely to each other. No 
broken or rotten pieces should be put in ; and 
if any of the sods taken out, in cutting the 
trench for the narrow drains, are bad, good 
ones, firm and full of roots of rushes, strong 
grafs, &c. should be got in the other parts of 
the field, and their place supplied with the 
decayed ones. In marshy bad fields^ where 



sound turf cannot be had, little sticks may be 
])laced acrofs the trench, and the loose and 
tender sods safely laid upon them. The nar- 
row drains being thus covered, the earth must 
be thrown in again, taking care that the 
clay, &c. brought out by the narrow tool, be 
not mixed with it. No greater length of 
these drains should be cut than can be 
finished the same day. The price varies with 
the depth. For the main drains cut thirty 
inches above, and thirty-eight deep, laid with 
bricks, covered, &;c. I give about ninepence 
per rod (eight yards). For the narrow drains, 
constructed and completely finished accord- 
ing to the foregoing directions, their whole 
depth (including that of the trench, and that 
of the draining spade) being thirty-two or 
thirty-four inches, I give fivepence halfpenny 
per rod (eight yards*.) 

From my much respected friend, the Rev. 
Mr. Whately, of Nonsuch-Park, in Surry f, 
I first received an account of the Hertford- 

* At this price my labourers, after they were a little 
acquainted with the work, earned, even in winter, twg 
shillings a day each. 

f Profel'sor of Rhetoric in Gresham College. 
Volume /. I i 


shire and Efsex method of draining; at the 
same time he obligingly sent me a set of the 
tools made use of there, Vvdth very particular 

The great price of stone and brick in my 
neighbourhood, rendered the Hertfordshire 
method too expensive. Hence I took the 
idea of the sod drains, and the improvement 
of the tools. Mr. Yomig, in the second 
edition of his justly-esteemed Six Months* 
Northern Tour, calls me the invcRtor of this 
method of draining. All the merit I claim, is 
that of havir.g introduced, together with an 
amendment of their construction, the applica- 
tion of these celebrated tools to a mode of 
draining v^qth sods or turf, where stone, brick, 
or even brushwood, is extremely scarce and 

Wherever this is the case, I can, from njry 
own experience, recommend the hollow 
drains covered in the above manner. 

I must observe that, in loose crumbly soils,, 
where the wetnefs does not arise from the 
retention of water by an under-stratum of 
clay, but from springs, these drains are im- 
proper : For such lands they should be made 


of brick or stone. On the contrary, which is 
most commonly the case, when the wet is 
prevented from pafsing off by an under- 
stratum of clay, marl, or a mixture of both, 
these sod drains are excellent. 

For if the whole staple, or soil, is cut 
through, as it ought to be, the narrow tool 
will be wholly worked in a solid body, and 
Jeave a firm compact ledge, or shoulder, of six 
inches wide on each side, for the sod to rest 
on. Fig. 4. Plate 2. The strength with which 
the sods are supported, and their depth in 
the ground, will effectually prevent their re- 
moval by any weight on the suiface, and 
secure them from all effects of the weather. 
Being, at their least depth, twelve inches 
below the surface, they will also be beyond 
the reach of the plough. 

With respect to the shape of the narrow 

drains, it will be scarce necefsary to observe, 

that their great depth, and contracted width, 

enable them to draw in the moisture of the 

earth, and at the same time to keep them- 
selves clear and open. 

The tools should be formed of well-wrouo-ht 
iron, and made with great care and exactnefs. 



Including the shaft, the narrow tool should 
weigh 12 lb*. 

References to the Plates. 

Plate 2. Fig. 1. A field with the drains pro- 
perly laid out. AAA the main drains 5 aaaa 
the narrow sod drains. 

Fig. 2. A brick drain. — Proper whether 
the bottom be hard or soft. 

Fig. 3. A brick drain. — Formerly recom- 
mended when the bottom was hard, as of 
clay or marl ; but discontinued for reasons 
already given. 

Fig. 4. A narrow drain ; a a the shoulders 
for the sod to rest upon ; b the cut made by 
the narrow spade. This, and Fip-. 2 and S, 
may be meafurcd by the scale of Plate 3. 

Fig. 5. The wooden frame to be laid in the 
trench. It is made of two oak-boards, (inch 
thick) each twelve feet long, and six inches iii 

* These tools are made by Benjamin Royle, smith, in 
Doletield, Danesgate, Manchester; and by Williaru 
Staveley, smith, in Stonegate, York. — Price 12s. 


breadth. They are fastened together at the 
ends by two ribs on the upper side, leaving 
a slit of five inches for the entrance of the 
narrow spade, a The handle. 

Plate 3. Fig. 1. A front view of the narrow 
draining spade. a The shaft ; h the wings 
for the workman's foot ; c the iron part of the 
spade, which is gently concave. 

Fig. 2. A side view\ a The shaft ; /; the 
wings ; c two sharp fins, one on each side, 
for cutting the next spade-graft j d the iron 

Fig. 3. A back view, a The shaft ; /; the 
wings ; c the cutting fins ; d the iron part, 
which is convex. 

Fig. 4, A back view in perspective, a The 
shaft ; b the wings ; c the fins ; d the iron 

Fig. 5. A front view in perspective, a The 

shaft ; h the wings ; c the fins ; d the iron 

part. It will here be proper to remark, that 

1 i 3 


the perspective views must not be measured 
by the scale. 

Fig 6. The scoop. a a The wooden 
handle ; b the iron scoop. 


On Top-dref sings. 

In the middle of March, 1771, I ploughed 
a rood of land flat ; the soil a poor, wet, 
hungry gravel, with many blue pebbles. 
Through the year 1770 it was fallowed, re- 
ceiving five ploughings. On the first of April 
1 marked 17 divisions, each two perches, 
and manured them with top-drefsings, and 
sowed them with Switzerland wheat. The 
manures, expenses, product, &c. will appear 
in the following table. 





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In 1772 the land was clover, and mown once. The 
sixth column gives the crop in hay ; the seventh, the 
value; and the eighth, the increase by the manures. It 
would be to little purpose to make any observations 
upon the above experiment, as the conclusions must be 
obvious to every person. The po\'erty of the soil is seen 
in the crop of corn without manure. The extreme un- 
favourablenefs of last year to hay crops, was the reason 
that the clover produced so poorly. The division of 160 
bushels of lime, by mistake, was forgot to be sown with 

In March 1773, the rood was ploughed up, and oats 
were harrowed in. These were reaped the middle of 
August, and threshed. 

P. G. Q. P. 
N- 1 2 2 

2 2 110 

3 2 12 

4 2 2 

5 2 2 

6 12 

7 2 10 

8 10 2 

9 110 

10 2 

11 2 12 

12 2 12 

13 10 

14- 12 

15 12 

16 112 

17 2 10 

Per Acre. 










































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'Z ^ 


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w' CN OJ <N CO C t- t-. (^ .O (M 








'T3'*(«C0^<0OC0Oc^>O Jc^OCOOOc^ 

W »;-o--<^-.CN^OCN |oe^<N«-^ 


2 s '^ 2 

"U ^3 

= ■- -a 

, -= -O ^ (LI 1^ 5 -o 

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03 , 

O C3 

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.= c :::; 

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CO t-I ty2 H-J VD 


Throughout this round of crops, the be- 
nefit of the poultry-dung and wood-ashes is 
very striking- Eighty bushels of coal-ashes 
also appear in the aame light. Upon what 
principles 160 and 25 j bushels of coal-ashes 
are inferior to 80 bushels, I know not. From 
a consideration of their qualities, I should 
have expected no good from them j and se- 
veral other trials have concurred in confirming 
me in that idea on poor soils ; but in the pre- 
sent one, 80 bushels being so beneficial, will 
not allow of such a conclusion. Pigeon-dung 
continuing so indifferent, surprises me very 
much. The goose-dung being so high in the 
table, and the 40 bushels of soot so low, are 
contradictions that I cannot account for. The 
effect of the lime and salt is pretty much what 
I should have expected. 


Upon looking over the tublc, I cannot draw 
one general conclusion. If the nature of the 
soil be considered, which we have every reason 
to believe full of the vitriolic acid from its 
natural sterility, and its abounding with the 
stone, called, in Hertfordshire, Mother-stone, 
(a concretion of many small blue pebbles) we 
should suppose that nothing could be so effec- 


tual as the application of alkalies. It is true 
the wood-ashes are excellent, but why not the 
lime? and why are coal-ashes in any degree 
useful, whose quality I take to be much nearer 
an acid than an alkali ? On the contrary, if 
we set out with a doctrine that has many 
circumstances to recommend it, viz. that 
mucilage is the soul of manures, we cannot 
by any means bring the facts of this experi- 
ment to speak the same language. The 
poultry-dung, it is certain, does wonders, but 
why not the goose-dung ? AVhy do wood- 
ashes, in one year, much exceed it, and always 
nearly equal it ? and why do coal-ashes ex- 
ceed it ? — These are circumstances 1 cannot 
account for, probably from not being suffici- 
ently acquainted with the component parts of 
these manures, or tbe neutral salts which may 
be formed in the soil by their application. 
Indeed we ought not to be desirous of found- 
ing general conclusions on particular trials, 
since, in repetitions, several important vari- 
ations may arise ; and the particular trials, on 
which we rely too much, then turn out mere 
exceptions, which are lost in drawing more 
general averages. 



On the Stctch Fir. 

IN order Xo raise plantations of the Scotch 
Fir, let the cones be gathered in the month of 
February, or March, from thriving young trees, 
as the old ones are not easily acccfsible, nor 
so productive 'of seed. These are to be ex- 
posed to the heat of the sun, thinly spread on 
any kind of coarse canvas, taking them under 
cover in the night-time, and only exposing 
them when the sun shines. This soon makes 
the cones expand with a crackling noise. 
When any quantity of the seed is shed, it must 
be separated from the cones by a scarce, other- 
wise the first-dropped seeds would become 
too dry before the cones yielded their whole 
quantity, which often takes up a considerable 
time ; so that we are sometimes obliged to 
6rv the cones in kilns, to make them 2:ive 
their contents in time for sowing — which 
ought to be done the end of April or begin- 
ning of May. The first method of procuring 
the seed is certainly the most eligible, though 
the other answers very well when attentively 


performed, so as not to damage the seed by 
too much heat. A light loamy soil, trenched 
a foot and a half deep, and laid out in beds 
five feet broad, answers the best for sowing. 
Let the seeds be sown very thick, and covered 
with a thick sifting of mould from the alleys. 
No kind of manure should be given to the 
beds, as productive of weeds ; the drawing of 
which not only brings up many of the tender 
plants, but loosens the ground, and makes 
blanks that let in frosts in winter and drought 
in summer. To ^ive an idea of the sowing, 
I never consider my crop of plants good, unlefs 
they mat like a brush, forming a tough bed 
that will resist the severest winter. Upon their 
having two seasons growth, I plant them out 
irregularly from the seed-bed, about three 
feet asunder, upon the mountainous grounds 
where they are to rise to perfection. I begin 
to plant the driest ground in autumn, eighteen 
months after sowing, and persist in this opera- 
tion until the frost prevents me. 1 begin 
again in February, or rather as the weather 
admits, and continue this work sometimes to 
the end of April, so as to plant out the product 
of the two-years old seed-beds. I put the plants 
into the gjound with two cuts of a spade, 
thus >. I raise the point of the angle with 


what we call a dibble, and laying the plant 
up to the neck, stamp down the raised sod 
with the foot. In this method, two men may 
plant a thousand in a day. When the ground 
is rocky, or very stony, I use a dibble, shod 
with iron, having a cleft at the extremity to 
lead down the root, putting the plants into the 
ground in the manner that Cabbages are 
planted. One man will plant as many in this 
way, as two in the other ; yet the first method 
is preferable;, where the ground admits of it, 
as I have aKvays observed fewer plants to fail. 
My reason for planting from the seed-bed is, 
that it comes nearest, to the operation of na- 
ture. Plants removed from the seed-bed into 
the nursery, must have their roots pruned con- 
siderably before they can be planted into the 
pits where they are to continue, which adds 
greatly to the expense. Besides,, nursing 
causes a luxuriant growth in this hardy m.oun- 
tainous tree, which spoils its nature and robs 
it of longevity. 

It is generally believed that there are two 
kinds of Fir-trees, the produce of Scotland, 
viz. the red or resinous large tree, of a fine 
grain, and hard solid w^ood ; the other, a white 
wooded Fir, 5vith a much smaller proportion 


of resin in it, of a coarser grain, and of a soft 
spungy nature ; it never comes to such a size, 
and is more liable to decay. At first appear- 
ance this would readly denote two distinct 
species, but I am convinced that all the trees 
in Scotland, under the denomination of Scotch 
Fir, are the same ; and that the difference of 
the quality of the wood, and size of the trees, 
is entirely owing to, circumstances, such as 
climate, situation, and the soil they grow in. 
The finest Fir-trees appear in the most moun- 
tainous parts of the Highlands of Scotland, in 
glens, or on sides of hills generally lying to -^ 
northerly aspect, and the soil of a hard gravelly 
consistence, being the natural produce of these 
places. The winged seeds are scattered in 
quantities by the wind, from the cones of the 
adjacent trees, which expand in April and 
May with the heat of the sun ; these seed- 
lings, when young, rise extremely close to- 
gether, which makes them grow straight, and 
free from side-branches of any size, to the 
height of fifty or sixty feet before they acquire 
the diameter of a foot : Even in this progrefs 
to height they are very slow, occasioned by 
the poornefs of the soil, and the numbers on a 
small surface, which I may say makes them 
in a constant state of war for their scanty 


nourishment, the stronger and tallest by degrees 
overtopping the weaker, and when the winds 
blow, they lash against one another ; this 
afsists in beating off any horizontal branches 
that might damage the timber with knots, as 
well as by degrees crushes the overtopped 
trees. In such state of liostility they continue 
struggling until the master-trees acquire some 
space around them ; then they begin to shoot 
out in a more bushy manner at the top, gra- 
dually losing their spiral form^ increasing after- 
wards more in size of body than height; some 
acquiring four feet diameter, and about sixty 
feet of height to the branches, fit for the finest 
deal board. The growth is still extremely 
slow, as is plainly proved by the sm.allnefs of 
the grain of the wood, which appears distinctly 
in circles from the centre to the bark. Upon 
cutting a tree over, close at the root, I can 
venture to point out the exact age, which, in 
these old Firs, comes to an amazing number 
of years. I lately pitched upon a tree of two 
feet and a half diameter, which is near the 
size of a planted Fir of fifty years of age, and 
I counted exactly two hundred and fourteen 
circles or coats, which makes this natural Fir 
above four times the age of the planted one. 
Now as to planted Firs ; these are raised first 


in drcfsed ground from the seed, where they 
stand two seasons or more ; they are then 
planted out in the ground they are to continue 
in, at regular distances ; so have a clear cir- 
cumference round them for extending both 
roots and branches. The one gives too quick 
nourishment to the tree which shoots out in 
luxuriant growth, and the other allows many 
of the branches to spread horizontally, spoil- 
ing the timber with knots j besides, this quick 
growth, occasions these thick yearly circular 
coats of wood, which form a coarse grain of 
a spungy soft nature. The juices never after 
ripen into a proportional quantity their resinous 
preservative balm ; so that the plantations 
decay before the wood acquires age, or a va- 
luable size ; and the timber, when used in 
work, has neither strength, beauty, nor du- 
ration. I believe the climate has likewise a 
great share in forming the nature of the best 
wood, which I account for in the following 
manner: The most mountainous parts of the 
Highlands, particularly the northerly hanging 
situations, where these fine Fir-trees are, have 
a much shorter time of vegetation than a more 
southerly exposure, or the lower open countries, 
being shaded by high hills from the rays of 
the sun, even at mid-day, for months together; 
Volume /. K k 


SO that, with regard to other vegetables, na- 
ture visibly continues longer in a torpid state 
there than in other places of the same latitude. 
This dead state of nature for so Ions: a time 
yearly, appears to me necefsary to form the 
strength and health of this particular species 
of timber. No doubt they may at first show 
a gratefulnefs for better soil and more sun, by 
shooting out spontaneously ; but if the plant 
or tree is so altered by this luxury, that it can- 
not attain any degree of perfection fit for the 
purposes intended, the attempt certainly proves 
in vain. 

From what is said above, it is not at all 
my intention to difsuade from planting Scotch 
Fir, but to encourage those that have the pro- 
per soil and situation to do so ; being of 
opinion that where these circumstances agree, 
and there, planting not in lines, but irregularly 
and thicker than common, the trees will come 
to be of equal size and value with the natural 
ones. In confidence of this, I have planted 
several millions on the sides of hills, out of 
the reach of seed from the natural Firs. 

As to the Larch, I have found it to answer 
extremely well when planted out on barrea 


grounds, from- six inches to six feet high ; 
and it is seldom known to fail, except where 
water has reached its roots. I have often re- 
marked with surprise, that when cattle or 
deer have broken off the main shoots with 
their horns, another branch has taken the 
lead, and stretched away at such a rate as to 
heal up the wound so completely, that in a 
few years it was with difficulty I could dis- 
cover the traces of -the injury. The amazing 
growth of the Larix far exceeds with me 
(Scotland) all the native as well as foreign 
trees, bearing the exposure and inclemency of 
the season better than any of them ; and of 
late I have the pleasure to find that they na- 
turalize themselves by sowing. I wish my 
experience could afsist me in speaking with 
as much certainty with regard to the value 
and usefulnefs of the timber ; but in that I 
can give but little satisfaction, as my oldest 
trees are not thirty years from the seed. — At 
Dunkeld I have seen a small summer-house 
finished with Larix wood ; the plants came 
from London in earthern pots, about the year 
1740, rather as a curiosity, than from any ex- 
pectation of their excellency. Though full 
of circular knots, the wood looked well, and 
did not seem to gall or warp so much as Fir 



of the same age and seasoning would have 
done. It will be necefsary to remark, that 
the heart or centre of large trees is generally 
the knottiest part of the trunk, occasioned by 
the collateral branches, when young, sup- 
porting the stem to stature, which as the tree 
advances, die and fall off; and this is par- 
ticularly evident in trees that grow in thickets. 
The surface soon heals over, and the body of 
the tree is annually increased by circular rings 
of wood. I shall suppose a tree to be a foot 
in diameter when the lower branches die and 
drop off. In course of time it acquires four 
feet in diameter, which gives a surrounding 
coat, one foot and a half in thicknefs, of clean 
timber, the centre remaining knotty. The 
growth of the Larix, and manner of dropping 
its branches when close together, very much 
resembles the Firj so I am confident this 
fault of knottinefs, which seems to be the 
principal one, will amend by age. 



Oji the Physiology of Plants, 

xJiFFERENT parts of Tiaturc havc drawn the 
attention of different philosophers. While 
some men of the greatest genius have em- 
ployed themselves in the study of their own 
species ; others have been diligently engaged 
in investigating the properties of the inferior 
elafses of animals. Nor are those to be placed 
in. the loviTst clafs of philosopherSj whose 
time and attention are engrofscd by that im- 
mense portion of nature, the Vegetable King- 
dom ; though, it is to be regretted that, in 
general, their observations have been directed 
more to the external form of plants, than to 
their internal structure. 

The knowledge of the internal structure of 
vegetables unfolds their economy, and, from 
a discovery of this, not only botany, but agri- 
culture, might receive great improvement. 
But this subject is as difficult, as it is impor- 
tant, and, as yet, it is not precisely understood, 
even by the most curious observers. I am 
Jed to engage in it more by the pleasing na- 



ture of the study, than the hope of surpafsing 
those who have gone before me ; and I pur- 
pose, in the following Efsay, to confine my- 
self to a few remarks on the structure, life, 
and functions, of vegetables. 

It is proper to premise, that if the anatomy 
of plants be not demonstrated throughout, 
with all the clearnefs that could be wished, 
this arises from their containing parts of such 
a degree of minutenefs, that they elude the 
human sight. The nature of these must there- 
fore frequently be inferred from analogy only, 
which is often fallacious. But many things 
have been ascertained on this subject, and 
with these I shall begin. 

On making a transverse section of a tree, 
it appears to consist of three distinct parts — 
the bark — the wood — and the medulla, or 

1. The bark consists of two parts — the 
cuticle, and the true bark. The cuticle of 
plants affords an external covering to all their 
parts. It consists of numerous layers, easily 
separable from each other, and of which the 
^bres are circular. The true bark may be 


considered as a congeries of cellular sub^ 
stance, in which are placed two kinds of 
organs, the vasa propria, or the vefscls pecu- 
liar to the plants, and the longitudinal fibres. 
Of the use of these, nothing can be said at 


2. On removing the bark, the wood appears. 
Its substance is denser than the bark, and its 
structure more difficult to be demonstrated. 
But it has been discovered likewise to con- 
tain vasa propria, and longitudinal fibres, and, 
besides these, large vefsels with spiral coats, 
which run from one end of the tree to the 
other, and are denominated vasa aeria. Be- 
tween the wood and the pith lies a green 
coloured substance, first accurately described 
by Dr. John Hill, and by him affirmed to con- 
tain all the parts of the plant in embryo : he 
gave it the name of Corona. 

3. In the centre of the tree resides the pith, 
which, in young plants, is very abundant. As 
they approach to maturity it grows drier, and 
appears in a smaller quantity ; and, in very 
aged trees, it is entirely obliterated. Its sub- 
stance is cellular, and, according to the author 
just mentioned, it is of a similar structure in 

Kk 4 


all plants. These are the solid parts of ve- 

But there are likewise fluids, or juices in 
vegetables j and these are of two kinds. The 
one is of the same nature in all the variety of 
vegetables : the other varies according to the 
different plants in w^hich it exists. The for- 
mer, which is called the succus communis ^whtn 
collected early in the spring, from an incision, 
made in the birch or vine, differs little from 
common water. The latter, which is named the 
mecus propriuSi pofsefses various properties in 
various plants, and gives to each its sensible 
qualities. These two juices never mingle 
with each other in the tree, and the latter is 
found in the vasa propria only. 

It is not yet ascertained, whether the juices 
of plants are transmitted through vefsels, or 
cellular substance. Each side of the question 
has had its advocates, who have supported 
their respective opinions with probable argu? 
ments : but it is to be regretted, that, on sq 
interesting a subject, no conclusion can be 
formed from the actual difsection of veger 
tables. To me it seems most probable, that 
all the fluids of plants are transmitted through 


vefsels, for the following reasons. 1. The ex- 
istence of vasa propria, and vasa a'cn'a, is disr 
coverable by the naked eye, and made still 
more manifest by the microscope. That 
succus proprius and air are contained in these 
is evident ; and therefore analogy leads us to 
believe, that the succus communis is also con- 
tained in vefsels. 2. Secretion, of which ve- 
getables have undoubtedly the power, is in 
no instance, that we know of, performed with- 
out the action of vefsels, 3, An experiment, 
made by Dr. Hales, seems clearly to prove, 
that the sap is contained within its own vefsels, 
and does not fortuitously pervade every in- 
terstice of thp plant* IJie fixed an instrument 
round the stent! of a vine, by which its con- 
tractions and expansions could be accurately 
measured j but he found no difference in the 
circumference of the trunk, when the tree was 
full of sap, and wjien it was entirely without 
it, although the instrument employed was so 
nice, as to detect a variation of the hundredth 
part of a finger's breadth. If the sap had 
been transmitted, without vefsels, through the 
cellular substance, this, on the withdrawing 
of the sap, would have been comprefsed, and 
of course the stem of the tree w^ould have con- 
tracted itself into a smaller compafs. 


We are now to consider in what direction 
the fluids of plants are transmitted. 

I. Of the Course of the Succus Communis, 
or Sap. 

Botanists have made many experiments Xo 
ascertain the course of the sap. Early in the 
spring, when the sap begins to flow, incisions 
have been made in the trunk and branches of 
trees, as far as the pith ; and, in such cases, it 
has been constantly found, that a larger quan- 
tity of sap flowed from the superior, than 
from the inferior margin of the incision. This 
circumstance led to the opinion, that in the 
beginning of the spring, great quantities of 
moisture are absorbed by trees from the at- 
mosphere, and hence the source of the abun- 
dance of sap*. But this conclusion,! found to 
disagree with the phenomena of nature from the 
two following experiments. 1. Haying made 
incisions of various heights into the stem of 
several plants, I immersed their roots into a 
decoction of log-wood. The roots absorbed 
the coloured liquor, which at length began to 

* Duhamel and others. See Phys. des Arbres, Tom. I. 
JB. 67. 


flow from the superior, and not from the in- 
ferior, margins of the incisions ; nor had the 
liquor extended itself much upwards, beyond 
the margin of the incision from which it was 

2. In the season when the sap flows most 
abundantly, called the bleeding season, a deep 
cut was made into the branch of a growing- 
vine, and the greatest quantity of sap was dis- 
charged from the upper margin of the incision: 
but a branch of the same tree, cut in the same 
manner, being inverted, the sap flowed most 
copiously from the other margin of the incision, 
which of course was now that next the root. 
On the other hand, many experiments may be 
brought to prove directly, that, in the bleeding 
season, the sap ascends from the roots to^ 
wards the branches ; the following however 
may suffice. 1. Early in. the spring, when 
little or po sap had as yet entered the plant. 
Dr. Hope made a number of incisions, of dif- 
ferent altitudes, into the root and stem of a 
birch. As the sap rose, it first flowed from 
the superior margin of the lowest incision, 
and then, in regular succefsion, from the upper 
margins of the other incisions, till at last, it 
reached the highest. 2. If, in the beginning 


of the bleeding season, before the sap is found 
in the stem or branches, an incision be made 
in the root of a vine, a considerable flow of 
sap will follow the wound. 3. The quantity 
of sap is very generally proportioned to the 
humidity of the soil. 

II. Of the course of the succus proprius. 

When a portion of the bark and wood of 
the pine, is cut from the stem, the succus 
proprius flows in considerable quantity both 
from the upper and under margin of the in- 
cision. Hence it occurred to botanists, that 
this juice might have little or no motion, and 
that its efflux from such an orifice might de- 
pend entirely on its being freed from the 
prefsure of the bark and wood. But I cannot 
accede to this opionion : for although in the 
beginning, the succus proprius flows from both 
margins of the incision, in a little while, as 
I have observed, it is discharged from the 
superior margin only. This observation in 
itself is not however decisive. For it may be 
supposed, that the liquor flows more copiously 
from the superior margin, because the pres- 
sure of the air is lefs upon it, than on the 
inferior, and because the liquor itself is dis- 


posed to fall downwards by its gravity, in the 
same manner as the sitccus communis. That 
I might put this matter out of doubt, I placed 
the branch of a pine in a horizontal position, 
and another branch I inverted, so that its 
branches were turned towards the earth. In 
these situations, I cut a portion of the bark 
and wood from each, and, in both instances, 
the succits propj^ius flowed only from tliose 
margins of the incisions which were farthest 
from the roots. Hence it appears clearly, 
that the course of this juice, in its vcfsels, is 
never from the roots towards the branches, but 
always in the contrary direction. 

Besides the vefsels of the sucais pro- 
priuSy and those conveying the sap, a third 
kind are found in vegetables, named air- 
vefsels, or vasa acria. These are chiefly 
situated in the wood, leaves, and pe- 
tals ; but are wanting in the bark of trees, 
and in the herbaceous plants. They arc 
formed by a number of small filaments, 
spirally rolled up, so as to form a cavity in 
the middle. The name of vasa aeria has 
been given them, because they are empty of 
liquor, and because a great quantity of air is 
certainly found in the wood of plants, where 


these vefsels are chiefly placed, and where 
there is no peculiar organization. They are 
supposed to be the instruments of respiration 
in vegetables ; but in what manner this func- 
tion is performed, is not clearly understood. 

I. Some imagine that the air enters the 
plants by the roots, in a non-elastic state, and 
gradually recovers its elasticity in its pafsage 
through them. To this opinion it is objected. 
1. That a great number o^vasa atria is found 
in the roots of trees, where the juice has 
undergone little or no circulation, and where 
of course little or no air can be supposed to 
be evolved. 2. That the roots are ver)' in- 
commodiously placed for absorbing air, being 
generally so deeply buried in the earth, as to 
be entirely out of its reach. 

II. Others suppose the air Is absorbed by 
the leaves, and thence carried into the body 
of the plant. There are, indeed, many air- 
vefsels in the leaves, and these seem necefsary 
for receiving the air evolved by circulation, 
which at length pafses off with the per- 
spirable matter. But if the air were absorbed 
by the leaves, and descended towards the 
roots, its motion would be opposite to that of 


the sap, and, instead of afsisting, would ob- 
struct its progrefs. It is commonly believed, 
that after the air has entered vegetables, it is 
expanded or contracted, according to the 
variations of the temperature of the at- 
mosphere, and in this way afsists the ascent 
or descent of the fluids. To this opinion it 
may be objected. 1st, That the air-vefsels in 
the roots, where the sap is first put in motion, 
are so deep-seated, that the changes in the 
heat of the atmosphere cannot effect their 
temperature. 2. That the common juice 
ascends, and the proper juice descends, 
whether the air be hot or cold. 3. That the 
prefsure of the air-vefsels on those which 
contain juice, will not more promote than 
obstruct the motion of the fluids in a given 
direction, unlefs the vefsels which include 
them contained valves, and in this case these 
fluids could not have a retrograde motion. 
Let us look for some more probable opinion. 

Dr. Hill has demonstrated, that the cuticle 
of plants is an organized substance, contain- 
ing vefsels. In trees and shrubs, these vefsels 
have an external opening ; but in the herbar- 
ceous plants this is wanting. Trees and 
shrubs only are pofsefsed of vasa a'eria, and. 


when a plant is placed under the exhausted 
receiver of an air-pump, the air enters through 
the cuticle, and only ifsues from the wood, 
in which the vasa aeria are situated. From 
these circumstances taken together, and con- 
sidered attentively, we have reason to con- 
clude, that the air's proper entrance to the 
vasa aeria is through these cuticular vefsels. 
Thus, in the early part of the spring, the 
gentle heat expands the mouths of these 
vefsels, before contracted by the winter's 
cold. Into these orifices, the external air 
rushes and prefses down to the roots. To 
these it gives energy, as it does to the 
moving fibres of animals j and, by its prefsure, 
it may afsist in propelling the juices upwards. 
An additional quantity of air is evolved by 
the internal motions of the plant, and the 
whole pafses off with the perspirable matter. 
In this way there seems to be a circulation of 
air through plants, afsisting and afsisted by 
the powers which move the juices. 

The two following facts confirm the above 
opinion, and, at the same time, show, that in 
plants, as well as animals, impeded respiration 
impedes the motion of the fluids, and inter- 
rupted respiration destroys it. 


1. In the winter season, I covered several 
young trees with varnish, and at the same 
time wrapt them in wax-clotb, leaving the 
tops of the branches only exposed to the air. 
They remained in this situation during the 
following summer, when some of them lived, 
though in a languid state, and put out a few 
leaves ; but those from which the air had 
been more accurately excluded, died without 
a single exception. 2. Trees over-grown with 
mofs have few leaves, weak shoots, and no 
fruit. The practice of gardeners is therefore 
to be commended, who, in the spring, strio 
the mofs from the bark of aged trees, and 
thus admitting the accefsion of the air, restore 
them to verdure and fruitfulnefs. 

Having considered the course of the fluids 
in vegetables, we next proceed to examine 
the powers by which these fluids are moved. 

Capillary attraction has generally been ac- 
counted the cause of the motion of the juices 
of plants J and the permanence of the action 
of this power has been supposed to depend 
on the evaporation from the leaves. Of late 
years, indeed, botanists have ascribed to plants 
a vital power, which they believe afsists the 

Vohune L LI 


flow oF the juices ; and to this opinion I ac- 
cede, for the following rea?.ons. 1, The de- 
scent of the juices, that is, their return from 
the branches to the roots, cannot be explained 
without the supposition of a vital power re- 
gulaiing the motion. A flow of fluids, through 
capillary tubes, will only take place, when 
the resistance, at the one end, is diminished. 
This might account for the rising of the sap, 
when warmth is applied to the leaves, but 
cannot account for its descending in the same 
circumstances, that is, when the atmosphere 
is warmer than the earth. But this takes 
place constantly, with respect to the siicciis 
propriuSy and it is probable, that part of the 
sap has the same course, both in the day and 
night. 2. The exertions of many plants, on 
the application of stimuli, afford another ar- 
gument in support of their muscular power, 
and the spontaneous motions of other plants 
confirm the same opinion. 3. Light, admitted 
to plants, increases their perspiration, and 
causes a leaf, before inverted, to resume its 
natural position *. The influence of darknefs 

* Miller in the Philosophical Transactions, and Bonnet 
Sur Tusage des Feuilles. 


contrasts these effects, and it produces, what 
is called, sleep in phnts, although the heat of 
the atmosphere be not diminished. These 
facts seem to prove the irritability, or muscular 
power of vegetables. 4. If the fluids of plants 
are conveyed through vefsels, as I have already 
rendered it probable they are, can we suppose 
these tubes to be of so small a diameter, as, 
by capillary attraction alone, to raise the 
juices from the roots to the summits of the 
loftiest trees? 5. On the supposition of the 
fluids being moved entirely by capillary at- 
traction, how happens it, tliat the sap of the 
vine flows from an incision made in the spring, 
and not from one made in summer ? In this 
case, as the vefsels remain the same^ and the 
heat is at least not diminished, the efflux of 
sap ought to be equally copious in summer as 
in spring. 6. Capillary tubes, filled with li- 
quor, do not discharge their contents when 
broken acrofs. But from the stem of a vine, 
cut transversely, a large quantity of fluids is 
discharged, as has been demonstrated by Dr. 
Hales. 7. The analogy between vegetables 
and animals, which was formerly pointed out, 
gives a reasonable presumption, that the fluids 
of both are moved by similar powers. In 
animals, the powers of circulation are respi- 



ration and muscular action : of those powers 
in plants we have already treated, and what 
has been said on the subject, seems to show, 
that the motion of the juices in plants is rather 
to be ascribed to them, than to capillary at- 

I might draw some arguments, in addition 
to these, from some experiments I have lately 
made, to ascertain the effects of air impreg- 
nated with various effluvia, of light, and of sa- 
line solutions, on the growth and qualities of 
vegetables J but these, being as yet incomplete, 
I forbear to detail. In general, however, it 
appeared, that there are particular substances 
which increase the growth of plants, by acting 
as stimuli on their moving fibres. 

There are some other functions which be- 
long to vegetables, of which I shall now en- 
deavour to give some account. 

Plants, as well as animals, perspire, and in 
both cases, this function is efsential to health. 
By the experiments of Dr. Hales *, and \l. 
Guettard f , it appears, that the perspirable 

* Statical Efsays, vol. I. p. 49. 

f ^lem. de 1' Academic des Sciences, 1743. 


matter of vegetables differs in no respect from 
pure water, excepting tliat it becomes rather 
sooner putrid. The quantity perspired varies, 
according to the extent of the surface from 
which it is emitted, the temperature of the 
air, the time of the day, and the humidity of 
the atmosphere. As the Jeaves form the 
greatest part of the surface, it is natural to 
suppose, that the quantity of these will very 
materially affect the quantity of the perspi- 
ration. Accordingly, the experiments of Dr. 
Hales have ascertained, that the perspiration 
of vegetables isincreased or diminished, chiefly, 
in proportion to the increase or diminution of 
their foliage *. The degree of heat in which 
the plant was kept, according to the same 
author, varied the quantity of matter perspired; 
this being greater, in proportion to the greater 
heat of the surrounding atmosphere. The 
degree of light has likewise considerable in- 
fluence in this respect: for Mr Philip Miller's 
experiments prove, that plants uniformly per- 
spire most in the forenoon, though the tem- 
perature of the air, in which they are placed, 
should be unvaried. Mr. Guettard likewise 

* Statical Efsa^s, vol, I. p. 29. 

LI 5 


informs us, that a plant, exposed to the rays 
of the sun, has its perspiration increased to a 
much greater degree, than if it had been ex- 
posed to the same heat, under the shade. 
Finally, the perspiration of vegetables is in- 
creased in proportion as the atmosphere is 
dry, or in other words, diminished in pro- 
portion as tlie atmosphere is humid. 

The more vigorous and healthy the plant, 
the more copious the perspiration ; this 
function, like the rest, depending much on 
the vital energy. Excefsive perspiration seems 
to hurt, and even sometimes to destroy ve- 
getables ; defective perspiration is equally 
injurious. It is also found, that this function 
is performed chiefly, if not altogether, by the 
leaves and young shoots. That it may be 
properly carried on, all leaves are deciduous ; 
in those trees, called ever-greens, there is a 
constant succefsion of leaves, to prevent the 
organ of perspiration from becoming rigid. 

Dr. Hales first observed, that a quantity of 
moisture is absorbed by plants, v/hen exposed 
to a humid atmosphere. This absorption, as 
%vell as the prespiration, is performed by the 
leaves ; but in what manner has not yet 


been ascertained. Experiments made by M. 
Guettard * show that perspiration is more 
considerable from the upper, than from the 
under, surface of leaves, and tliose of the same 
author, of Duhamel f , and Donnct J, demon- 
strate, that absorption, on the contrary, is 
much greater at the inferior surface than at 
the superior. To prove this, the superior sur- 
face of one leaf, and the inferior surface of 
another, were covered with .varnish, and the 
consequence was, that the former, in a given 
time, suffered little diminution of weight, but 
the latter became much lighter. Again, similar 
leaves w^ere laid upon a surface of water, and 
it followed, that those which had their superior 
surface inverted, gained little weight, and for 
the most part died in a few days ; while such 
as had their inferior surface applied to the 
water, became much heavier, and flourished 
many months. These facts make it evident, 
that perspiration, and absorption, are not per- 
formed by the same vefsels, but that each has 
its peculiar organs. 

♦ Memoires de I'Acad. des Sciences, 1719. 

f Ph)'S. des Arbrcs, torn, I. p. 153. 

,1:Trailedes Feuilles, Mem. I. 

LI 4 


It has been commonly supposed, that per- 
spiration takes place, chiefly, when the air is 
warm ; and absorption, on the other hand, 
when it is cold and moist. But unlefs the 
vefsels, peculiar to absorption, which are 
placed in the under surface of the leaves, were 
kept constantly in action, they would necef- 
sarily collapse or decay. All absorbing organs 
have a peculiar structure, and an action de- 
pending on life : that such an organization is 
present in the leaves of plants, it is reasonable 
to conclude, because dried leaves do not 
absorb. The same reasoning is applicable to 
the absorption performed by the roots : for 
when a small portion of the root of a hyacinth, 
growing in water, is cut off, the whole root 
dies, and new roots are shot out, having their 
extremities peculiarly adapted to the ab- 
sorption of nourishment. 

The noxious matter, carried off by perspira^ 
tion, requires large dilution to prevent its 
hurting the delicate structure of the leaves, 
and in this state accordingly it is thrown out 
on their surface. Here the noxious part is 
excreted, but part of the diluting fluid is rcr 
absorbed, to serve the purpose of secretion, 
V'hich could not be performed, unlefs the 


common juice, or sap, were previously pre- 
pared. In the same manner, in the animal 
body, the saline and putrid matter, carried 
off by the urine, must be liberally diluted, to 
prevent it from injuring the tender structure 
of the kidneys ; yet, when it is safely lodged 
in the bladder, a part is reabsorbed, and the 
grofser excremcntitious matter is alone thrown 
out. Something of the same kind happens in 
the perspiration of animals. They certainly 
take in something useful from the surface of 
their bodies, and this is probably performed 
by vefsels opening outwards, different from 
the common exhalents. The great quantity 
of water, absorbed during the nse of the 
pediluvium, and that singular symptom in 
diabetes, of the patient's voiding a much 
greater quantity of urine, than there is liquor 
taken in by the mouth, seem to confirm this 

Neither in plants, nor in animals, can we 
measure the exact quantity perspired or ab- 
sorbed : we can only ascertain the excefs of 
the one over the other. For example, if 
a heliotropium, or sun-flower, in one day lose 
twenty ounces of its weight, in another lose 
nothing, and in a third gain in weight ten 


ounces, it Is only thence to be concluded, 
that sometimes the quantity perspired ex- 
ceeds, sometimes it equals, and sometimes it 
is lefs than the quantity absorbed. 

Plants are pofsefsed of a power of forming 
their different parts, and this is done by secre- 
tion. We may conjecture what the agents 
are which produce this effect, but in respect 
to the manner of their operation, we are en- 
tirely in the dark. In animals, where the 
vital power is strong, this is the principal 
agent in producing the new arrangement of 
parts, which is made in every secretion ; but 
in plants, where this power is weaker, it 
would be unequal to perform the function, 
if it were not afsisted by absorption and 
fermentation. Wherever any firm matter is 
to be secreted, the vefsels have a convoluted 
course, to allow the juice to be fermented, 
and the thinner parts to be absorbed. In 
this manner, the stones and kernels of fruits 
are supplied with nourishment by fibres, 
which are much convoluted. The proper 
juice seems to be formed only when the sap 
has ascended towards the leaves, and is de- 
scending to the roots. The wood also is 
formed during the descent of the sap; for 


when a ligature is made round the stem of 
a tree, the wood above the ligature becomes 
much thicker, while that below remains of its 
former size. 

The pabula, from which vegetables receive 
the matter of secretion, are contained in the 
surrounding elements. They are chiefly nou- 
rished by the water they draw from the soil ; 
but somewhat they likewise derive from the 
light of the sun, on which their sensible 
qualities principally depend. On this subject 
J have likewise made some experiments, but 
not with that degree of exactnefs, which 
should enable me to lay them before the 

Some botanists have conceived, that plants, 
as well as animals, have a regular circulation 
of their fluids. Others think this very im- 
probable. On both sides, recourse has been 
had to experiments ; and from these, con- 
clusions perfectly opposite have been de- 
duced. When a ligature has been fixed 
round a tree, in such a manner, that no juice 
could be transmitted through the bark, the 
tree has been found to thicken above the 
ligature ; but below it, to continue ot the 


same circumference. Hence some have con- 
cluded, that the sap ascends through the 
wood, and descends through the bark. Those 
who are of a contrary opinion have found, 
that, in certain cases, the juice ascends 
through the bark only : for when a portion of 
the wood has been cut out, and the bark 
exactly replaced, the growth of the tree has 
been found to go on unchanged : hence it is 
said, that the juice is transmitted equally 
through all parts of vegetables. The experi- 
ments adduced on each side of the question 
are just, but the reasonings on these, by each 
party, seem equally inconclusive. The ana- 
logy of animal nature appears to favour the 
opinion, that the juice rises through the wood 
only, and descends only through the bark ; 
but this analogy is not complete throughout. 
The arteries are not placed in the internal 
parts alone, nor the veins in the external, but 
they accompany each other through every 
part of their distribution. In vegetables, the 
sap rises /rom the roots, but the proper juice 
descends towards them ; in the descent of 
the juice, the wood acquires its growth, and 
absorption is a constant action of the leaves. 
These observations render it probable, that 
there is a circulation of the juices; and if 


there be, the vefsels which perform it, wc 
may reasonably believe, accompany each 
other through every part of their course. 

On the whole we may conclude, that the 
formation and growth of the parts of plants, 
depend, chiefly, on the vital energy, which is 
not however exerted, except on the applica- 
tion of stimuli. We admire the marks of 
wisdom and design, which appear in the 
creation and preservation of vegetables, but 
we have no reason to believe that they are 
pofsefsed of any intelligent power, which pre- 
sides over and directs their peculiar functions. 

Both plants and animals are, from their 
construction, much under the influence of 
stimuli, and all organized beings are regu- 
lated more by general, than particular, laws. 

The principle of life seems universally dif- 
fused through nature, but bestowed on 
different beings in diff"erent degrees. To 
animals is given the largest share 3 but 
throughout the whole animal kingdom, one 
species descends below another in the per- 
fection of its mental powers, as well as of its 
organic sensations. And this progrefsion is 


SO very gradual, that the most perfect, of an 
inferior species, approaches very near to the 
most imperfect, of that which is above it. 
The chain is continued between vegetables 
and animals. Both have the power of pro- 
pagating their species, and their modes of 
procreation are similar. In the lower clafses 
of animals, the powers of sense and motion 
are very indistinct. The coral and the water 
polypus adhere to rocks, as plants to the 
earth ; and, .like these, die on being severed 
from the place where they grew. There arc 
likewise plants, which in many things re- 
semble animals. The Burrhum Chundalli, 
lately brought from the East Indies, pofsefses 
a living principle, which discovers itself in 
the spontaneous, and almost constant motion 
of its leaves. The Sensitiva Mimosa y and 
Muscipula D'wiKsa, show wonderful activity 
on the slightest imprefsions, and take the flies 
and other insects prisoners, by the contraction 
of their leaves. That these plants live, will 
be granted j but I suspect that they likewise 
feel. I doubt whether we are right, in con- 
fining the capacity of pleasure and pain to the 
animal kingdom. This I may affirm, that 
some circumstances, common to the genera- 
tion of plants and animals, and manv 


nimllarities in their functions and structure, 
would lead us to the opinion, that sensation 
likewise is bestowed on both. It is vain to 
attempt to establish absolute rules, by which 
plants may be distinguished from animals, in 
every case whatsoever. There are animals, 
which grow to a spot, and, like plants, arc 
nourished by the pores of the skin. And 
there are plants, which surpafs some animals 
in vital power, and/ perhaps, in sensation. 

Wherever the principle of life exists, there 
is a peculiar organization; and as much me- 
chanism is necefsary to the structure of a ve- 
getable, as of a human being. This view of 
the life of vegetables, raises botany to the rank 
of philosophy : it adds fresh beauty to the 
parterre, and gives new dignity to the forest. 


Printed at the Office of 
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High-Oulegate, York. " , 




The Rise and Frogrefs of Agriculture, . 1 1 

ESSAY I. Bv A. Hunter, M. D. 
On the Nourishment of Vegetables f . . . 17 

E S S A Y II. By A. Hunter, ISI. D. 

On a Rich and Cheap Compost, . . .38 

ESSAY III. By A. Hunter, M. D. 
On Vegetation, and the Analogy between Plants 

and Animals, zcith a Plate, . . . 49 

ESSAY IV. By A. Hunter, M. D. 
On Steeps, . 59 

ESSAY V. By A. Hunter, M. D. 
On the Roots of Wheat, with a Plate, . . 6j 

ESS A Y VI. By A. Hunter, INI. D. 
On Vegetation, and the Motion of the Sap, . 70 

ESSAY VII. By A. Hunter, M. D. 
On a New Method of Cultivating Weak Arable 

Lands, 103 

ESSAY VIII. By John Harrison, Esq. 
On the Rohinia, or False Acacia; commonlij 

called tlte Locust Tree , . . . .110 
Volume I. M ra 



ESSAY IX. By T. Haliday, Esq. 
On a ncii) Species of Grain j called Siberian, or 

Haliday Barlcx), 120 

ESSAY X. By A. Hunter, ls\. D. 
On Potatoes, 1 27 

ESSAY XI. By A. Hunter, M. D. 
On the Cidture of Turnips, . . • .135 

ESSAY XII. By J. S. Morrit, Esq. 
On the Culture of Carrots, and their Use in Fat- 
tening of Hogs, . . . .141 

ESSAY XIII. By A. Hunter, M. D. 
On the Study of Nature, 149 

ESSAY XIV. By A. Hunter, IVI. D. 
On the Time of Sowing , . . . .152 

ESSAY XV. By John Grieve, M. D. 
On a Wine, called by the Tartars Koumifs, . 193 

ESSAY XVI. By the Rev. Robert Peirson. 
On the Connection between Botany aiul ^gricul- 

ture, . . . . - .215 

ESSAY XVII. By J. Ainslie, M. D. 
On the Nature and Properties of Marl, . . 224 

ESSAY XVIII. By a Gentleman uho wishes 
to be unknown. The latter Part and Plan, 
by A. Hunter, M. D. 

On Agriculture and Manufactures, . . . 269 

ESSAY XIX. By R. Townley, Esq. 
Oyi Goose Dung, . . . .273 



ESSAY XX. By Sir J. IVIethuen Poore, Bart. 
On the Advantages of Raising Potatoes on Fal- 
lows , . . . . . . 2S.5 

P:SSAY XXL By A. Hunter, M. D. 
On Drill-Sowing y . . . . .288 

ESSAY XXir. By the Rev. Mr. Dickson. 

On Manures, and their Operation, . . . 299 

ESSAY XXni. By C. Baldwin, Esq. 
Oil Oil used as a Manure, . . . .317 

ESSAY XXIV. By A. Hunter, M. D. 

On Top-Drejsings, . . . . .324 

BOOK ir. 

ESSAY I. By Tliomas Percival, M. D. 
On the different Quantities of Rain which fall at 
different Heights over the same Spot of 
Ground, . . . . . .329 

ESSAY II. By R. Townley, Esq. 

On the Culture of Potatoes, . . . .344 

ESSAY III. By the Rev. Robert Peirson. 
On the Analog^/ between Plants and Animals, 3C1 

ESS AY IV. By A. Hunter, M. D. 
On Expenments, 3 06 


On the Oil- Compost, . . . .366 

ExPER. 11. 
On Manuring Meadozi) Lands, . . . .371 

M m 2 



On a New kind of Manure, 373 


On the Oil- Compost, 376 

ExPER. V. 

On Siberian Spring Wheat, . , . . . 378 

ExPER. ri. 
On the Howard, or large Bedfordshire Potatoe, 378 


On the Increase of Potatoes, 380 


On the IncYease of Potatoes, , , , .380 


On the Oil-Cojnpost, 381 

ExPER. X. 

On the Oil- Compost, 382 


To make a rich Compost if Pond-yniid, S(c. .385 


On Protecting Wall Fruit, 387 


How to Improve the Turf of poor Pasture Lands, 388 


JIow to Renovate an old Mulberry Tree, • .390 


4 general Idea of the Oil-Compott, . . .391 



A profitable Method of So-juing Wheat on Land 

too strong for Turnips, 394 


On Siberian Spring Wheat, . . . .396 


On the Method of raising Seedling Potatoes, . 398 


On the Alternate Ilusbundrjj, .... 401 


Tlie Dimensions of an Earthen Fence, as 7nade 

in Northumberland, . . . ^ . . 404 


A Met/iod of Preparing a rich Compost, . . 405 


A Comparative View of the three different Me- 
thods of Sowing Barlei^, ... 407 

ExPER. xxni. 
On the Oil-Compost, . . , , .411 


On the Juice of Carrots, isc. .... 412 


On a Method of raising Potatoes in Winter, . 423 


On Sowing Turnips for late Feeding, . . 423 


On Feeding Sheep, and a Substitute for Folding, 424 




A Comparatke View of two crops of Barley, the 

one Drilled, and tlie other sown Broadcast, 426 


On Malt-Dust as a Manure, .... 427 


On the number of Grains contained in a Bushel of 

Wheat, and other Seeds, .... 427 


A Method of making excellent Butter from the 

MUk of Cows fed upon Turnips, . , 429 


A nexi) and profitable Method of raising a crop of 

Turnips in Drill, 430 

ExPER. xxxiri. 
On the Quantity of Ashes to be obtained by Bum- 
baking, ...... 435 


On Spring Wheat, 433 


On Sowing CaiTot-Seed, .... 436 


The Method of making Whale-Compost, . .437 


On the Oil- Compost, 489 



j4 Comparative Fiexv of Baron Van Haake's Com- 
post, the Oil-Compost J and Soot mixed ivitk 
Ashes, 441 


On Egyptian Wheat , . . , . ,442 


On the Culture of Cabbages, . . • , 444 


The Method of using Sea-Weed in Scotland , ,447 


The Method of preparing Land for so-xnng Lucern 

broad-cast, 449 


On Transplanting Poiatoe Tops, . . .452 


On Nutritive Lime, . . , , , . 45 f. 


On feeding Hogs with Potatoes, . , ,455 


A Comparison bet-uren Red and White Wheat, . 456 


On the best Method of raising Early Potatoes, 457 

Ex PER. XLVIir. 

On Lime, 460 


On preparing Seed Wheat zcilh Oily . . . 464 


EXP£R. L. 

On Dibbling Wheat, . . , ♦ .467 


On Claying Land, . . - . .469 


On Siberian Barley, . . . . .470 


A Ccmparati-ve Review of Manures, . , . 470 


On Potatoes, 472 


On Fattening Hogs, 472 

E S S A Y V. B}^ the Rev. John Buxton. 
On the most Projif able Method of Managing Light 

Arabic Lands, 475 

ESSAY YI. By the Rev. Robert Peirson. 

On the Sexes oj Plants, » . . . . 4S0 

ESSAY VII. By T. B. Bayley, Esq. F. R. S. & S. A. 
On a Cheap and Expeditious Method of Draining 

Land, with two Plate;, . . .492 

ESS xY VIII. By Arthur Young, Esq. 

On Top-Drefsings, . . . . . 502 

ESSAY IX By James Farquarson, Esq. 
On the 'cotch Fir, . . .... 50S 

£ S S A Y X. By George Bell, M. D. 
O71 the Physiology of Plants, . . . .517